HomeSportsRob Gronkowski Surprises Army Veteran With New Pickup Truck: WATCH

Rob Gronkowski Surprises Army Veteran With New Pickup Truck: WATCH

by Suzanne Halliburton
Nathan Congleton/NBC

Former NFL star Rob Gronkowski helped give an American hero a very special moment this week.

Gronk presented keys to a new, retrofitted truck to Army veteran Jonny Flores, who also is a Purple Heart recipient. Gronkowski represented USAA Insurance, which is presenting 100 trucks to deserving vets this year. The Flores’ truck was the 87th. Coincidentally, Gronk wore that number when he played for both the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Bucs.

Rob Gronkowski is a face for USAA in commercials during the football season. The star tight end shared a video on Twitter, captioning it:

“What an honor to join USAA to gift this ride to US Army Vet, Jonny Flores. USAA (is) celebrating 100 years of serving military families by gifting 100 vehicles across the country to military families in need as part of their “Recycled Rides” program.”

Rob Gronkowski Gave Vet Truck with Wheel Chair Lift

Flores served in the field artillery for the Army. But he suffered a life-altering injury on July 4, 2007 outside of Baghdad. The vehicle he was driving in drove over a pressure-plate IED, causing an explosion. Doctors needed to amputate his left leg. For the past 15 years, Flores has used a wheelchair to get around.

The gray truck Rob Gronkowski presented him is four doors and retrofitted with a wheel-chair lift to make sure Flores can easily get in and out of his new ride.

And it all was a surprise to Flores when the four-time Super Bowl champion showed up with the keys to a fancy truck.

“No way,” Flores exclaimed. “What a surprise!”

He later remarked:

“This means a lot to me,” Flores told Rob Gronkowski, “Being able to get my independence and get in and out of this with ease, you know, with no help. That wheelchair thing is something else!”

He added: “This is a game changer. Oh my God. I can already see how many trips and things we’re gonna do with the family. I’m so excited. I can’t thank you guys enough for this man.”

Gronk, 32, retired in June after 11 seasons in the NFL. He spent his final two seasons in Tampa, with quarterback Tom Brady. The two won a Super Bowl for the Bucs at the end of the 2020 season. However, Gronk declined to play another season with Brady, who has struggled mightily for wins this fall. As the NFL season winds down, Tampa is 6-7.

Rob Gronkowski probably has the better end of the deal. He’s not taking the L’s on the field. And it’s a huge win when you can help give back to an Army vet.