A Ford truck owned by Staff Sgt. Jeff Anderson was parked for 18 months at his Walker home while he was deployed in Iraq.
Anderson returned home Wednesday, but the truck will stay parked a while longer.
Why drive a five-year-old Ford F-150 when you have a new Mazda Miata?
Anderson received a new red Miata as a gift from his parents, Warren and Linda Anderson, and took delivery Wednesday morning. The Anderson family had breakfast at Perkins before Warren suggested they cross the street to "take care of some business" at Tanner Mazda. There, Anderson was given the keys to the sports car of his dreams.
"I've always wanted a convertible," Anderson said. "When I saw this, it was like, wow, that's awesome. Overseas, we had Humvees and they're all automatics. This six-speed will take some getting used to."
Staff Sgt. Jeff Anderson received a new red Mazda Miata as a gift from his parents, Warren and Linda Anderson, and took delivery Wednesday morning. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls
» Purchase reprints of this photo.
Anderson was granted a hardship release by the Army and got home earlier than the other troops in his unit. Grand View Lodge, the resort he's owned on Leech Lake for the past 12 years, has seen business decline with the lake's walleye population. But now, with walleye numbers rebounding and the governor due for the fishing opener in May, better days are ahead.
"We've had a few tough years up there with the fishing the way it's been," Anderson said of Leech Lake's resorts. "But it's picking up pretty good now."
Resorts are a way of life for the Anderson clan. Warren and Linda own Northland Lodge on Leech Lake and two of Jeff's brothers also own resorts on the lake.
Immediate family for Jeff includes his 6-year-old son, Quinn, who Wednesday morning didn't yet know his father was home.
"I'll pick him up at school in my new car," Anderson said. "I'm sure he'll be as surprised as I am."
VINCE MEYER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5862.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.