Porter is the second Purple Heart Medal recipient to receive a custom vehicle built by Nexen Tire as part of its initiative to honor the nation’s heroes.
Porter’s military career spanned nearly three decades, and more than half spent of it was with special forces. He volunteered for the elite 75th Ranger Regiment and completed the Special Forces Qualification Course to earn the U.S. Army’s Green Beret. In 2004 during his second combat tour in Iraq, Porter was returning to base after a combat operation in Fallujah when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated under his vehicle. Not only did the IED explosion spawn an ambush of the convoy, Porter absorbed the full impact of the explosion to his face, resulting in a near-death experience. After multiple surgeries to restore his ability to eat and breathe on his own without assistance, Porter returned to active service to rejoin his unit. Porter completed two additional tours to Iraq before retiring in 2013. The injuries sustained by the IED explosion has required more than 33 surgeries and for his actions in combat, and Porter was awarded the Purple Heart Medal. He continues to serve the country as a civilian role as an exercise planner for the United States Army. He is married, has two children and resides in Fort Bragg, N.C.
“It’s an unbelievable honor to be selected by Nexen Tire and the Purple Heart Foundation as the recipient of the Nexen Tire Jeep Gladiator. To me, this custom Jeep is more than just a cool vehicle — it’s a symbol that helps bring awareness to the thousands of combat-wounded veterans across the nation,” said retired Master Sgt. Brian Porter. “Like me, these brave veterans have suffered unbelievable injuries on the battlefield, and it’s humbling to see organizations like Nexen step up and join the Purple Heart Foundation to help share our stories to help improve the lives of wounded veterans.”
As part of the Nexen Hero Gladiator Build, Nexen Tire partnered with several leading automotive aftermarket companies in the industry. Nexen enlisted the help of customizer Kenny Pfitzer of Zero to 60 Designs to spearhead the build of the unique vehicle which features 35-inch Nexen Roadian MTX Xtreme off-road tires.
In last year’s program, a 2018 Dodge Challenger R/T was presented to Purple Heart Medal recipient and retired Marine Cpl. Steven Diaz.