LONG BEACH (CBS) — Staff Sergeant Guillermo Tejeda lost both his legs to an IED (Improvised Explosive Device)  in Afghanistan.

Driving, it would seem, would be more than just a bit of a challenge.

Not for some local students — also veterans — who wanted to find a way to honor a hero.

So, they designed and customized a hot Camaro (make that very hot! red and black!) so Tejada could drive using hand controls.

As Edward Lawrence reported on the KCAL9 News Sunday at 9 P.M., Tejeda had been confined to a wheelchair since he was wounded. But now he’s got some wheels that can really move.

The four students (two Marines, one Navy vet and an Army vet) on the project, all are students, or graduates, of Wyotech in Long Beach.

When he first saw his souped-up car, Tejeda acknowledges that he was moved to tears.

Marine veteran Tom Stein who works with Wyotech explains, Tejada paid a huge price for his country, so the school and the Semper Fi Fund, have no problem giving back to him.

Tejada will use that car to get around … and train for more Marine Corps work. He’s already served 12 years but wants to serve for at least eight more.

For more information about Wyotech, click here.

For more information about the Semper Fi Fund, click here.

Comments (5)
  1. c-man says:

    To those that provided that for him, thank you. I wish more injured veterans would be able to receive services that will help them in life. THEY have earned it. NOT the immigrants that come to America and don’t learn English and would receive services for doing nothing

  2. navarro says:

    I had the honor of serving with this Marine for many years, and he is a prime example of what a Marine is. Despite his injuries, he is still thriving and training to stay a Marine and make a difference for other Wounded Warriors. Him and all other wounded service members deserve everything that our country can provide.
    They have sacrificed so much, but will never admit to it because of their unselfishness. They have fought for the defense of their nation and now deserve to live a life of peace and prosperity!!!
    Semper Fi brother
    SSgt Navarro (3/5 Darkhorse)

  3. Arellano says:

    Like Navarro, I also had the honor and pleasure of serving with T.J. for a few years. The three of us were all in the same Platoon. As a matter of fact, when I first arrived to the fleet, us boots “checked in” and reported straight to the field to train. T.J., you may not remember this… but, I was put in the same fighting hole as you at that time. I always looked up to my senior Marines and T.J. was no exception to what us junior Marines aspired to be. We have remained good friends to this day and it broke my heart to hear that he was injured back in November. I was blessed to be able to visit him in Bethesda and despite his injuries, he had that same “can do” attitude that I have always seen him display. There is no doubt in my mind that T.J. will continue to be an example for others to emulate. We are all thankful for your service. I am especially thankful that you are still with us.
    Semper Fidelis
    SGT Arellano (3/5 DarkHorse)

  4. Len Simpson says:

    Great piece, but the link to WyoTech is incorrect. It is not WyoTech.com. As an educational organization with a dot.edu domain, the link should go to The Official WyoTech site: http://www.wyotech.edu/.

    Would the Editorial Staff, please correct this? Thank you.

    1. Len Simpson says:

      Thank you for correcting the link. 😀

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