Club members rebuild veteran's flooded-out Jeep

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A decorated disabled veteran's main lifeline is back and better than ever after being damaged while he tried to help Millington flood victims.

David Lawrence served two tours in Vietnam.  He said his prized Jeep is like a member of his family.

"It's more or less a lifeline," Lawrence said.  "It's the only way to the VA and without it, I'm stuck."

Lawrence used his Jeep to rescue Millington residents from the recent flood.

When he did, his lifeline was cut after the vehicle was ruined.

"Blew a hole in the cylinder, the piston dropped, push rod dropped, the piston was in the oil pan," said Lawrence.

Members of the Mid-South Jeep Club came to Lawrence's rescue.  They rebuilt Lawrence's Jeep from top to bottom.

They are putting in a new engine and transmission, putting on new brakes and tires and detailing it to make it look brand new.

"We've had people as young as 19 to as old as 64," said Jeep Club member Chester Evitt.  "We've had kids that don't even know what Vietnam is to help."

Hundreds of people have commented on the web about this re-building project.  People from as far away as St. Louis have offered to help get the Jeep back up and running.

"Thanks to 19 O'Reilly's, a couple of AutoZone's, a couple of Parts Plus, including our mayor of Munford donating parts," Evitt continues.

"When I say I moved to Tennessee and I became what Tennessee is known for, volunteers," Lawrence said.  "And I do volunteer."

Lawrence's volunteer efforts will be a whole lot easier now that his lifeline is back up and on the road again.

Members of the Mid-South Jeep Club will present Lawrence's rebuilt Jeep to him at a special ceremony Tuesday night in Millington.

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