Dwayne Johnson had a huge surprise in store for a wounded veteran of the U.S. Army.
What started as an interview with Ford Motor Company turned into a major surprise for U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient Marlene Rodriguez.
He surprised Rodriguez during an interview where she was discussing her experience earning a Purple Heart and her involvement with the Military Warrior Support Foundation, a group that helps veterans and their families receive housing.
He surprised her with tickets to his “Baywatch” premiere at first but then unveiled a customized 2018 Ford Mustang GT that was hidden behind a curtain.
When she asks why she is receiving them, the Rock responds, “Because of everything you’ve done, and everything the boys and girls you’ve served with have done.”
“I don’t deserve all this,” she replies.
“You deserve more,” Johnson says.
Rodriguez deployed to Iraq three times and was injured twice by roadside bombs. She was left with traumatic brain injury so severe that she suffers from seizures. One of the roadside bombs killed the driver of her vehicle.
“Losing somebody and earning a reward, it didn’t mesh well with me,” Rodriguez said during the interview while receiving the Ford’s Go Further community service award. “I mean, it’s an honor to have it, but to receive it, you know, I definitely just have more guilt than anything else because I was given it because of the loss of somebody else.”
Rodriguez was medically discharged and became the first female member of the 49th Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.