File this under awesome. It fits the bill in a lot of ways.
Earlier this week a 1982 Mack 1250 GPM pumper fire truck began an awe-inspiring 3,700 mile trek from Princeton, New Jersey to Managua, Nicaragua.
The journey began with the kindness and fortitude of Master Sargeant Jorge Navarez, a New Jersey Air National Guardsmen with the 108th Security Forces Squadron. During a trip to his birth country in 2014, the 22-year veteran with the Princeton Police Department, visited a volunteer fire unit in the capital city of Nicaragua. He noticed that their equipment was sorely lacking, and pledged to find a way to rectify things. Navarez returned to the Garden State compelled to make a difference for Managua firefighters (and the residents that they serve).
For the next two years, he worked with local, national and international officials to make a difference. His first ask was to the director of emergency services in Princeton. The city had a retired truck and they were willing to put the truck up for symbolic auction. Navarez purchased the pumper for a dollar, and set his sights on getting the truck flown to Latin America. As you can imagine this was no small feat; but with the help of the Air National Guard, the Air Force Reserve, the active-duty Air Force, several government agencies and the Denton Program, which allows U.S. citizens to utilize cargo planes for humanitarian efforts, the fire truck and some much needed equipment was loaded onto a plane earlier this week at the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover Airforce Base in Massachusetts.
To learn more about this incredible undertaking and the collaboration it took to realize one man's dream, check out the Department of Defense blog.