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Soldier surprised with car makeover upon return from Afghanistan

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LAYTON — Staff Sergeant Ben Sorensen was welcomed home from Afghanistan today with a unique gift: his 1987 Chevy Blazer got a complete makeover. All of the parts and labor were donated and it all happened thanks to an email from his wife, Brittany Sorenson.

Ben had wanted a Blazer since he was young and purchased the car before he was deployed. The car had so many problems, it couldn't pass inspection so Ben wasn't able to drive it. But he still wanted to keep it.

"It was in pretty rough shape," Ben said. "I like it. It's an '87 K-5 Blazer. I think it's cool."

Brittany wanted to surprise her husband with a drivable car and sent an email to with a plea to help get her husband's Blazer ready for when he returned home. Rather than simply help fix up the Blazer, the people at the website gave it a complete overhaul.

"200,000 plus miles on it, tons of problems, not driving correctly, not steering correctly," said Brian Hafer of

They supplied the parts and Dave's Complete Auto Service in Layton donated the labor.

"Before, there were oil leaks all over the place, and made all sorts of noise when you started the engine up," said Brian Hanni of Dave's Complete Auto Service.

Hanni put in hours of work on the car for free.

"Makes me feel good inside, that I can be able to help out our servicemen," Hanni said.

All this was done to help Brittany do something special for her husband.

"Every day he's so awesome and thoughtful," Brittany said. "Don't tell any of his army buddies."

Brittany is not a huge fan of her husband's car, but she knew how much he liked it.

"It's an old Blazer, what's a girl to like about that?" Brittany said. "It's noisy, it rattles. It's not very comfortable to ride in."

But the important thing for her is that it makes her husband happy.

"I just like it. They're beasts. They can go anywhere, they can take a lot of pounding," Ben said.

And it will take many more now that it's finally safe enough to pass inspection. For one of its first trips, Ben plans to take the Blazer up the mountain so he can go snowboarding. He says he's hoping for another deployment, but not until he's had a good, long break at home with his family.


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Mike Anderson


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