As our nation faced the possibility of going to war, America's chosen men were ran into the firing grounds. For 34-year-old Daniel Rivera of Woodbridge, Virginia, fighting for and defending this country has become almost second nature. Rivera, currently enlisted in his fourth active tour in the Middle East during war torn times, and is employed by a program called Joint Automated Deep Operations Coordination System or JADOCS. He works with joint targeting and collateral damage estimation. In short, he evaluates bombing targets for the United States Army, and measures the impact it will have on the good and bad guys. This task certainly carries its share of emotional baggage, and would soon change his life forever.
During his first tour of duty in 2004 to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, Danny experienced a close call that changed his outlook on life. There was an indirect attack on his base, "Camp Victory," in Baghdad that took the life of his friend, a State Department employee named Ed Seitz. "I was very close to the attack," says Danny, "That event changed my life in many ways." Of the many things racing through his mind, the one consistant though, was how much he missed his wife and two sons. It also opened his eyes to create something of his own that would carry on his memory, in the event that something might happen to him.
Danny had always wanted to own a convertible Chevy Impala; it was something that had somewhat become a lifelong dream for him. He had seen many for sale, but none that really caught his eye. A friend suggested that Danny check with someone he knew that had a stock, clean, 1963 Chevy Impala in Canada. Still in Iraq, he trusted his friend and asked his wife to drive to Canada with money in hand, and make an offer to the owner for the Impala. The Chevy sat for a few months in storage in Canada until Danny returned home from his tour.
The first step for Danny in his limited time home was to get the Impala out of storage. He then brought it to CT Auto Collision in Brantford, Ontario, where the Chevy was removed from the frame for a complete Azure Aqua base coat with Silver Metal flake. Checking around town, he found Jeremy Egerland to wrap the frame and add a two-pump, three-dump hydraulic setup. Danny drove to Buffalo, New York to Westside Hydraulics to have the motor rebuilt, before ultimately having it installed by Jeremy Egerland.
Just deployed for his fourth tour of active duty this past June, Danny values every moment he has with his family. He joined Individuals C.C. out of Virginia and as a dedicated car club, they look after his two boys. Although it took a near-death situation to make him realize where his passions lies, he tells us, "I can't wait to get home, grab my wife and boys and cruise in my '63." He named his Chevy "The Fallen" as a dedication to all of his fallen comrades who haven't made it home to their wives and children throughout the world.