American Heroes: Pay it Forward Profiles

Sometimes the headlines make it seem like there aren’t enough American Heroes around when you need them.

That’s just not true. Not at all. In fact, the service men and women who keep us safe, protect our property and ensure our freedom, well, they’re everywhere. It’s just that they don’t want any fanfare – they just want to help others quietly. It’s the job that matters, not the glory or the fame. The ideal of being responsible, of being brave in the face of danger – that’s what matters.

Those who run to the fire, toward the gunman, toward protecting us on far-away shores, deserve more than our thanks once a year or so – they need our help and our gratitude.

That’s what the Pay it Forward Sweepstakes is all about. JC Whitney has been a lucky partner for many American Heroes over the years, as they’ve gone about getting more miles out of their vehicles. As a result, we’d like to say thanks by giving away an awesome, custom new truck (with our partners) and profiling these men and women of courage throughout the sweepstakes.

So, take a moment out of your day. Sit down and read a profile or two. You might just want to share one and remind your friends that these are the heroes who make our country great.


Michael Adkins

A Sergeant First Class, he’s 10 months away from retiring with 20+ years of active duty service. His military service includes two tours of duty in central Baghdad, Iraq, and one tour in northern Afghanistan. Michael dreams of a starting his own firearms safety and training company that also provides a self-defense academy.


Michael Flores

As a combat arms instructor at Lackland AFB, Michael trained over 20,000 troops annually in rifle marksmanship. And as a correctional officer, he monitored, rehabilitated, kept safe over 120 inmates. He served a tour of duty in Iraq, and one in Kuwait, where he maintained over 180 military vehicles – from wheeled to tracked, and heavy equipment – often during combat conditions and in over 120-degree desert heat. Afterward he used his skills to operate his own motor pool of 160 trucks and trailers. Michael plans on continuing his career as mechanic.


Richard Leswing

As a volunteer firefighter, Richard serves as the fire company’s engineer, making sure all trucks are in  working order and ready to go for every call. Richard has dedicated himself toward helping others first, as a firefighter and caregiver, but also is working hard to improve his own future by attending automotive tech school. He plans to get a degree as a mechanic, as it will help him along the path toward doing good and taking care of others.

Author: JC Whitney

JC Whitney is the largest and oldest catalog and Internet direct-to-consumer auto parts and accessories retailer in America. Since 1915, JC Whitney has been filling the needs of customers by providing the right part at the best price. You can always shop with confidence at

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  1. A Sgt in the Infantry, I served in Panama and was stationed at Ft. It’s and then in Germany for 6 years.
    I have been disabled for many years and every day I live with deep regret I didn’t serve in Iraq or Afghanistan. It is hard to live with but even harder knowing brothers that did. I should never have ETSed out. I am sorry

    Post a Reply
    • I will never forget and I am Thankful to every last Soldier (every branch) who served.

      Post a Reply
      • You’re still a hero, Joe! Thank you for serving our country and for sharing your story. We will be forever grateful.

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