April 10, 2012

Kia Motors America partners with Wounded Warrior Project to provide 2012 Soul to a disabled American veteran

At the 2012 New York International Auto Show opening ceremony, Kia Motors America (KMA) joined forces with the Wounded Warrior Project, a national organisation dedicated to providing help and raising public awareness for injured service members, to
donate a 2012 Kia Soul hatchback to disabled veteran and United States Army Corporal Christopher Melendez. Melendez was injured in the line of duty while on routine patrol in Iraq by a 'six pack shape charge' IED, resulting in severe leg and arm injuries. Working with the organisers of the New York International Auto Show, the Soul was modified to meet Melendez's specific day-to-day needs.  This donation comes directly on the heels of Kia's donation to Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA's Operation Hero program in coordination with brand ambassador and professional women's golfer Michelle Wie.

"Kia Motors understands that it is not only important to show our commitment to the US market through investment and job creation, but also to support the service men and women in our country's armed forces," said Michael Sprague, Vice-President, Marketing & Communications, KMA. "The Wounded Warrior Project provides invaluable services to the men and women who have been injured in the line of duty, and it is an honor to donate one of our most popular vehicles to Corporal Melendez as a way to show our appreciation and support for those who have sacrificed so much."

The 2012 Soul, retrofitted by New York-based Bussani Mobility Team was modified specifically to allow Corporal Melendez to continue with his daily activities through modifications that assist when flexibility is limited. The modifications include a steering wheel device that allows him to turn the steering wheel using one hand, while maintaining complete control of the wheel and car at all times, however all alterations are easily removable to allow others who do not need them to drive the vehicle safely.


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