Sgt. Michael Diehn

From left: Kelly Gulbrandson, Director of Community Relations at Apple Autos; Patrick Steele, Head of Auto Retail Underwriting and Fulfillment at Wells Fargo; Former U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Diehn; Diehn’s wife and three children; retired U.S. Army Command Sgt. Major David Dougherty, Director of Program Advancement at Military Warriors Support Foundation.

Wells Fargo teamed up with Apple Autos of Shakopee and the Military Warriors Support Foundation to present a payment-free 2021 Ford Escape SE Hybrid to former U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Diehn on Aug. 31 during Military Appreciation Day at the Minnesota State Fair.

“It is such an honor to receive this vehicle and be a part of this program because it will give our family so much more freedom to do different things and visit new places,” Diehn stated, in a press release.

The donation was made through Military Warriors Support Foundation’s Transportation4Heroes program, which awards payment-free vehicles and provides one year of family and financial mentorship to combat-wounded veterans and Gold Star families.

According to the Foundation, the counseling has helped families in its program pay down, on average, about $30,000 in debt.

Michael Diehn was born and raised in Arlington. He joined the Army in 2001 and completed his basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia. In 2003, while deployed to Iraq, he sustained injuries while supporting combat operations and received a Purple Heart. After six months of rehabilitation, he re-enlisted in the military and got deployed back to Iraq.

After six years of service, he was honorably discharged in 2007 and received many awards for his bravery.

Today, Sgt. Diehn resides in Plato with his wife and three children and enjoys fishing, gardening, cutting wood and going on road trips.

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Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.