Toyota Presents RAV4 Hybrid to Heroic Soldier at New York Auto Show opening ceremony

18 April 2017 Author :  
Sgt. Joe Mille, who lost his right leg to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, accepts his new 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, customized to allow him to use the gas pedal with his left foot, during the New York International Auto Show opening ceremony.

In 2012, Sgt. Joe Mille lost his right leg to a roadside bomb during the final month of his deployment to South Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he was a rifleman and team leader for the Army. But he hasn't let the injury keep him down. After enduring a rigorous, 15-month stint of rehab, the Sitka, Alaska, native reenlisted for another six-year term.

Since his injury, Mille has already served as a competition shooter and instructor at the Fort Benning, Ga., Army base; served as a sniper team leader at Fort Drum, in New York; and deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He's now an infantry squad leader at Fort Drum, and pursuing a degree in counterterrorism studies.

"I plan to make the best out of my time in the Army and look forward to a long and fruitful career," said the 25-year-old, who is married with two children.

On Saturday, April 15, Toyota and the New York International Auto Show joined forces to celebrate and honor Mille with the donation of a specially customized 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo presented Mille with his new keys during the auto show's opening ceremony at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.

"Throughout his multiple tours of duty, and even after serious injury, Sgt. Mille has inspired Toyota with his commitment, courage and dignity," said Kevin Curran, assistant general manager for Toyota's New York sales region. "We thank him for his sacrifices and service for others."

The Bussani Mobility Team of Mamaroneck, N.Y., outfitted Mille's new ride with a gas pedal that can be used with a left foot.

"The New York Auto Show salutes Sgt. Mille for his years of unwavering service and dedication," said New York auto show chairman John LaSorsa. "We're proud to partner with our friends at Toyota who have generously donated this vehicle to honor Sgt. Mille."

The 2017 RAV4 Hybrid continues to build upon the model's 21-year reputation for comfort, style and performance while offering a bevy of standard-issue safety technologies. The 2017 model is equipped with standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), a new multi-feature advanced safety package that bundles Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection function featuring forward collision warning and Automatic Emergency Braking; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist function; Automatic High Beams; and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

The most powerful and fuel-efficient RAV4 in the model's history, the 2017 RAV4 Hybrid achieves an EPA-estimated 34 mpg city/30 mpg highway/32 mpg combined and comes equipped with an Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System with intelligence (AWD-i) as standard.

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