Chief Warrant Officer Andy Stiles Returns Home
Posted Tuesday, May 27, 2008 by
Chief Warrant Officer Andy Stiles returned from a six month tour flying cargo planes in Iraq to the loving arms of his wife Tammy, daughters Heather and Kaycee – and the forgotten roar of his 1973 Barracuda.
“I have had this thing since I was 17-years-old,” Stiles said, as more than 200 people cheered as he was unblindfolded and reintroduced to the restored car.
A crowd of well-wishers and local and national media gathered at the Coweta First Assembly of God just off of Highway 51 to welcome Stiles and witness his surprise at receiving the fully restored “Cuda.”
Last winter while Stiles was in Iraq serving with Company A, 641st Aviation Regiment of the Oklahoma Army National Guard, his neighbor, Pastor Gary Rogers, came up with the idea to have the car restored.
With the blessing of Tammy Stiles, Rogers and another neighbor, Joe Davis made a few calls and eventually contacted a school called WyoTech.
WyoTech agreed to restore the vehicle and along the way, several organizations and commercial companies contributed an estimated $100,000 in labor and resources to bring the Cuda back to life.
Andrew Stiles, like many soldiers serving in the armed forces, put his life, hobbies and passions on hold to serve his country. While Stiles was flying C-23s and Blackhawks over Iraq, dozens of WyoTech students worked to convert his vintage Barracuda into a beautiful, modern muscle car.
In addition to bright yellow paint job complete with his daughters’ handprints, the car received all new glass, new interior and a powerful, late-model Hemi engine.
“This was a great opportunity for WyoTech and our students to help make a dream come true for Andrew,” said Guy Warpness, Laramie Campus President. “The campus was very excited and passionate about giving something back to a career soldier.”
The following companies supported the effort by providing parts and/or services to the build team: YearOne, Baer Brakes, Cowboy Glass & Mirror, Totally Auto Inc, Rockford Fosgate, Edelbrock, K&N Filters, Magnaflow Exhaust, Redline Gauges, Rock Valley Stainless Fuel Tanks, Sherwin Williams, Valvoline, The Music Box, and Brown.
In addition to renovating the car, WyoTech students raised several thousand dollars for the project.
WyoTech is the official technical school of the National Hot Rod Association.
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