Losing her husband and the father of her two children was the ultimate sacrifice. Life would never be the same for the Downing family, but time has healed deep wounds while her heart will forever hold the memory of her late husband.
As life went on, LeAnn and her family were able to purchase their dream rig – a Jeep Wrangler – that they envisioned big things for, but due to financial restraints, would never actually get to build. Little did she know that her son’s interest in off-road vehicles - especially Starwood Motors’ creations on social media - would lead to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the family. “He was in love with the Kevlar-painted Jeeps,” she describes. “He would tell me how they’re scratch and dent proof and one day I just decided to send a quick Facebook message to Starwood Motors out of curiosity of what the Kevlar paint was.”
After casual chats back and forth with Jordan Hail, head of business development for Starwood Motors, LeAnn explained that although they’d love to feature it on their new Jeep they plan on using for military homecomings, parades and the like, they’d never be able to actually afford their Kevlar paint. Instead, they’d most likely opt for a wrap that would feature the Folds of Honor organization (in addition to Gold Star Teen Adventures) they supported, which provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service-members. That’s when Jordan directed her to Robbie Bryant of Keg Media and the “Fallen Hero Jeep Project” was born.
“Within a couple of days, [Robbie] presented an idea that would blow my mind and heart,” she explains. “He had rounded up enough people to sponsor the facelift on the Jeep and send it to SEMA. In less than two weeks my baby was on a trailer and headed to Dallas!”
According to LeAnn, Robbie’s rendering perfectly honored her late husband while at the same time paid tribute to all those who have lost their lives serving our country. It only took one draft for LeAnn to fall in love with everything he created.
Since the family’s fascination with the Kevlar exterior started it all, Starwood Motors offered to sponsor the matte Army green exterior. “The Jeep is coated in their signature Military Green finish complete with gloss black graphics,” Robbie explains. “The entire process was done at Starwood Motors, starting with removing the factory paint down to bare metal. Once that part is complete, the vehicle is prepped, primed and sprayed with the finish, focusing on consistent texture throughout each panel. After the main coating has cured, the vehicle is prepped once again for the custom graphics you see on the final product.”
To get the Jeep looking on point, Aries Automotive collaborated with a host of their armor/protection and lighting products to the JK’s edgy exterior. In fact, they designed and built a whole line of new products specifically for this build that were hand delivered to Starwood Motors as they came off the production line, LeAnn admits.
To set off its stance, a 6” Skyjacker coilover lift kit gives it clearance to fit 38” tall Interco Sniper LTs that were fitted to a set of GRID Off-Road GF0 2-piece forged wheels.
Thanks to Robbie and Jordan taking care of everything from start to finish, LeAnn and her family were gifted with a show-stopping Jeep that amazes people on the daily. “She is a beauty and there is nothing like her anywhere here in Indiana,” she gushes. “We are in love with everything about the Jeep; it was more than we deserve and more than we could have ever dreamed up on our own.” Now the family uses the Wrangler to bring awareness for the Folds of Honor foundation and wheels it proudly to honor their own fallen hero.
gear: 2015 Jeep Wrangler JK “Fallen Hero Jeep Project”
- 38x13.50R20LT Interco Sniper LT Tires
- 20x12 GF0 Black and Bronze 2-Piece Forged Wheels
- 5- 6” Skyjacker Suspension LeDuc Series Coil-Over Kit
- Skyjacker Suspensions High Clearance Black MAX Dual Steering Stabilizer Kit
- Starwood Motors Signature Military Green Finish Complete With Gloss Black Graphics
- ARIES TrailCrusher front and rear bumpers with modular brush guard
- ARIES Rocker Steps, Security Cargo Lid, HD Tire Carrier
- ARIES Aluminum Flat Fenders & Front Inner Fender Liner
- ARIES Aluminum Tubular Doors (front & rear)
- CURT Class III Trailer Hitch, Hitch Lock and Skid Plate Plug
- RK Sport Ram Air Hood
- Undercover Truck Bed Covers Nighthawk Light Brow
- ARIES Hood/Windshield light brackets and LED lighting
- ARIES 50” Double Row LED Light Bar
- ARIES 20” Single Row LED Light Bar
- S&B Filters Cold Air Intake
- Magnaflow Exhaust
- sPod Switch Panel
- Bestop Sunrider
- American Trail Grab Bars
- Warn Zeon10 Winch
- Custom Alea Leather Interior in Amaretto
- Kicker PWRA415 4.1 Channel Amplifier & Powered Subwoofer Upgrade System
Wheels & Tires