I first met Roger at the 2013 F-100 Super Nationals and all Ford Show in Pigeon Forge TN. Bill Riel introduced him to me and Roger and I spent some time together as he described his restoration of his 1959 Ford F-100. This year's F-100 Super Nationals was awesome and well attended with 750 beautiful vehicles. Roger returned again, along with his family including several beautiful grandchildren. He shared his Vietnam military experience with me and I was so moved that I felt compelled to post this on my website in Roger's own words. He made me even prouder to be an American as I listened to his story. Here it is in Roger's own words. Sam
I grew up in Southwest Virginia in Russell County on a mountainside farm. My family did not have a vehicle of any kind until I was age 17. Anyone in our community that had a vehicle was thought to be very fortunate.
In September of 1965, I enlisted in the military and went through Army basic training. Then on to more training for approximately a year before being shipped off to Vietnam. I served with the 1st Battalion 40th Field Artillery group up on the DMZ from September 1966 through September of 1967. I saw lots of combat and served alongside the Marines. My job was to keep shelling the enemy positions for our infantry guys.
When I returned from the war I was sent to Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks Alaska. In April of 1968 I purchased a 1959 Ford F-100 as Military salvage for $75.00. This was my first automobile and I was excited to have it. I repaired it and was able to drive it without the threat of road mines, incoming artillery shells, rockets, mortars or snipers. My true definition of Freedom!
When the army discharged me at Fort Wainwright in late 1968, my 1959 pickup was my ride home. We traveled 5,000 miles home without a hitch. In March of 1969, I traded the '59 for a new 1969 F-100 receiving $800.00 in trade against the '69 window sticker.
Forty two years later, in May of 2011, I found my old '59 at the F-100 Super Nationals in Pigeon Forge. I purchased it, took it home to Virginia and did a "Frame-Off" restoration back to original. Keeping the 292 Cu. In. Y-block engine, Ford-O-Matic transmission, 4 wheel drum brakes, a single master cylinder, generator and manual steering.
With the exception of the engine machine shop work and the transmission overhaul, I did all the work myself, including the paint. With the extensive use of Dennis Carpenter reproduction and N.O.S. parts, my truck came back to life.
In May of 2012 and again in 2013, my '59 won "Best in Class Award" at the F-100 Super Nationals and "Classmates choice" at my trade school class reunion. Nothing delights me more than going for a ride or to a car show in my '59 with my wife of 44 years. Sharing the interest that family and friends have in my old F-100 pick up is "Priceless".
Roger Musick Abingdon, VA.