- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jay Leno, who spent 17 years hosting “The Tonight Show” and is a known car enthusiast, awarded a 2015 Dodge SRT Hellcat to a wounded veteran during a Wednesday segment for the “Today” show.

Cpl. Ethan Laberge was seriously injured in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber who killed two of his fellow soldiers. Still recovering from the attack, Cpl. Laberge took turns with Mr. Leno driving the Hellcat for the show’s “Shine a Light” series.

Little did the veteran know that he’d soon be the proud owner of the car.

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“We took all these wounded warriors and did sort of a lottery and reached in and picked a soldier at random [to] do something for him and hopefully it expresses what we want to do for all the soldiers,” Mr. Leno told “Today.”

The former late-night host said that he and Cpl. Laberge quickly bonded over their love of cars.

When they arrived back to base, Cpl. Leberge gave an instant review: “That was awesome … I wouldn’t mind having one of these.”

“It’s yours,” Mr. Leno said, hugging the veteran and handing him the keys. “America loves you. Thank you buddy. Have a lot of fun. Don’t get any tickets.”

“I can’t promise that,” Cpl. Leberge joked.

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