Jay Leno Surprises Wounded Soldier with New Car

Jay Leno

Jay Leno might have a lot of fans, and there might be a lot of people who don’t care much for him, but one thing is for certain; he can be a pretty generous guy when he wants to be. The TODAY Show has a series called “Shine a Light,” and Leno was recently part of that series. While he was partaking, he met a man who was severely injured in Afghanistan, Cpl. Ethan Laberge. During his time with Laberge, Leno learned about the soldier’s past, his suffering and his life.

Laberge was in Afghanistan, serving his country like so many other men and women, when he was injured during an attack by a suicide bomber. The bomber approached Laberge and other soldiers who were on foot patrol in the desert, detonated his bomb and killed himself, two other soldiers and severely injured Laberge. His recovery has been difficult, and no one can imagine what it must be like to have been part of something so horrific and awful. However, Leno understands he can never understand what Laberge has been through.

Leno has met many soldiers throughout his long career, and he’s been known to say that when he meets them, they’re in completely different places and have nothing in common. However, he and Laberge both share a love of cars, and that bonded them. That led Leno to give the soldier a brand new 2015 Dodge SRT Hellcat. He didn’t tell the soldier that the car was his, he simply said that he was going to take Laberge for a ride in one, and they did; they also enjoyed a BBQ lunch together.

When they returned to the base where Laberge is stationed in Kentucky, he answered a few interview questions about the car, “That was awesome…I wouldn’t mind having one of these,” he said to reporters.

“It’s yours. America loves you. Thank you buddy. Have a lot of fun. Don’t get any tickets,” said Leno as he handed over the keys.

Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for Ace Cafe


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