Madison, Il (KSDK) - Amid the bustle of a car show and the roar from the drag racing strip, a quiet memorial to a fallen Marine and his comrades sat in the inner oval at Gateway Motorsports Park on Saturday.
Lance Corporal Phillip Vinnedge was only 19 when he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. He and three others in his unit were killed by a roadside bomb. Vinnedge had only been in Afghanistan for 16 days.
"Phillip loved being a Marine," said his mother, Julie Vinnedge. "He was very honored to be a Marine. He told us that he wanted to be on the front lines."
One of Vinnedge's lifelong dreams was to restore a 1951 Chevy pickup. He never got that chance. But his family found one a short time after the young man's death and decided to hire an artist to paint the truck with murals of Vinnedge and all the other members of his unit who were killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan.
Julie Vinnedge says she's received many emotional responses from people who have seen the truck and she says it's a reminder to everyone to keep military members and their families in your thoughts.
"We need to honor and support all our military," said Vinnedge. "Not just Marines, but everyone in every branch."
The truck will be on display Sunday at the National Super Chevy Show at Gateway Motorsports Park. It'll also be displayed at the Jefferson County Fair July 19-22.
Click here for more information on the truck and the Fallen Hero's Dream Ride project.