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Jay Leno Takes a Wounded Vet for a Joyride Then Thanks Him with the Surprise of a Lifetime



by Brooke Bosca | Top Right News

Anyone who is a fan of Jay Leno knows how much the man loves cars. Heck, the former Tonight Show host even has a TV show called Jay Lenos Garage, and it is a sight to behold.

Buy Jay has another passion: showing his appreciation for our countrys veterans, as his dozens of USO trips to Iraq and Afghanistan attest.

Recently Jay got the opportunity to meet Corporal Ethan Laberge on the Today Show:

Laberge had been on foot patrol in Afghanistan when a suicide bomber drove up and detonated himself, seriously injuring Laberge and killing two fellow soldiers who had been standing with him.

Laberge was hit with shrapnel in his legs and arms and also suffered a traumatic brain injury, which has caused him serious memory problems.


Leno sat down with the wounded warrior, and the two quickly discovered they had something in common: their love for automobiles.

Jay said that when he meets many soldiers, most are barely out of their teens and he finds theyre often worlds apart.

But Leno said he and Laberge were quickly able to find common ground in their love of cars, and Leno had just the thing for Laberge: a ride in a 2015 Dodge SRT Hellcat.


When Jay asked Cpl. Laberge if he wanted to take the car out for a ride, he responded, Hell yeah!

The two men took a hours-long joyride through a whole lot of back roads near Laberges Army post, and made a day of it: taking in some of his favorite BBQ, visiting some old haunts, and talking about how Laberges has struggled with his injuries, and survivors guilt as well.

Where Im sitting now, I dont know exactly how well Ill recover, Laberge said.

Leno asked if he ever gets discouraged, and while Laberge said he does find himself down every now and then, family and friends help him make it through.

When the two men wound back to the Army post, Leno had one more surprise for the brave soldier.

Laberge gave an instant review of the Hellcat, That was awesome … I wouldnt mind having one of these.

Its yours, Leno said handing Laberge the keys. America loves you. Thank you buddy. Have a lot of fun. Dont get any tickets.

I cant promise that, Laberge said with a smile.

We cant all give a solider a new car. But we can thank them for their service. And perhaps even lend an ear, or shoulder, for a spell. Its the least we can do for the sacrifice theyve made, and they will appreciate it your one kind word more than you will ever know.