Brett Miller’s Jeep Cherokee will soon be better than new. Miller is to be the recipient of a Freedom Wheelers Jeep build, a program for disabled veterans. photo by Jim Cornelius
Brett Miller’s Jeep Cherokee will soon be better than new. Miller is to be the recipient of a Freedom Wheelers Jeep build, a program for disabled veterans. photo by Jim Cornelius

Brett Miller's Jeep Cherokee will soon be better than new. Miller is to be the recipient of a Freedom Wheelers Jeep build, a program for disabled veterans.

Miller, a Sisters resident, was severely wounded in an IED attack in Iraq while serving with the Army National Guard. His injuries ended his wildland firefighting career, and left him with memory loss and weakness in his left limbs.

The Sisters veteran is used to being on the other side of the equation when it comes to helping out veterans. He has become a featured speaker with the Wounded Warrior Project, traveling the country to raise awareness about veterans' health issues and to reach out a helping hand to his comrades who are struggling to overcome their injuries and reintegrate into post-service life.

"Normally I'm on the other end of the deal," he told The Nugget. "It's kind of humbling to be on the other side."

But he welcomes this gift.

"It kind of blew me away, actually," he said. "'Cause it couldn't happen at a better time for me personally. I've had some catastrophic vehicle problems in the past few months."

Freedom Wheelers, formally J.D. Stage 2, is the creation of J.D. Lineberger, himself a disabled Marine and a self-confessed "Jeep fanatic." Lineberger was in a wheelchair for a while from his injuries, and built his first Jeep to accommodate his own needs. The Miller build will be his 22nd.

"We're going to go from stock to rock," he said.

That means a lift kit, new motor and many other additions that Miller doesn't even know about yet. He just knows that it will, in fact, rock.

"It's going to be way more than I was expecting," he said.

To fund the build, there is an account set up at Washington Federal in Sisters (acct. 275-700476-3) and Lineberger is hosting a raffle for three Traeger barbecues. There is a Go Fund Me site linked through the Freedom Wheelers Facebook page. Funds raised will also assist a build for a disabled Marine in Texas.

Lineberger notes that Freedom Wheelers does an extensive background check before authorizing a build.

"One of the requirements for a vet is A) they've got their own Jeep and B) they have to be involved," Lineberger said.

The build will take place in Sisters.

"I need to find a shop there that I can appropriate for the weekend," Lineberger said.

For more information or to offer services, contact Lineburger at 208-481-1337 or email jdstage2@gmail.com.