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'I'm just overwhelmed' | Vietnam veteran named Hyundai Hometown Hero

Mike Stubbs was overwhelmed by the crowd surprising him with a new Hyundai Santa Fe.

MINT HILL, N.C. — Mike Stubbs is no stranger to awards and accolades.

The Vietnam veteran has spent decades in service to his country and his fellow veterans.

"It's the veterans that made this country what it is," Stubbs said.

Stubbs received the Purple Heart for his service. He was twice wounded in combat by bomb shrapnel, and with mere days left in his mission, he was shot in the neck. The bullet nearly struck a major artery, but he kept fighting until all of his men were safe.

"I was one of the lucky ones coming home actually," Stubbs said. "I came home on a MedEvac. I had to go through surgery in Vietnam and had to go to Japan for more surgery."

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As commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 634, Stubbs speaks to a lot of local veterans making sure they have the support they deserve.

"What he did in Vietnam, taking care of men over there; he came home, and he's taking care of the veterans here," veteran Billy Wynens said of Stubbs.

Wynens contacted WCNC Charlotte to nominate Stubbs for the Hyundai Hometown Hero award.  

Just days before Veterans Day, WCNC Charlotte, Charlotte-area Hyundai dealers, and Stubbs' family and friends staged a surprise at the Purple Heart Memorial in Mint Hill where he was gifted a 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe.

"We're giving you a brand new Santa Fe as a very small recognition for an unbelievable list of service," Gabriel Faria from Keffer Hyundai said.

Stubbs was stunned to see a crowd of loved ones and receive a brand new car.

"I don't know how to describe it," Stubbs said. "I mean, I'm just overwhelmed."

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