As a child, my father would surprise me once in a while with a piece of Doublemint chewing gum when he got home from work. This simple and small gesture has stayed with me all these years, because I know it meant he missed seeing his little guy during the long workday. Jessie Gomez of Santa Fe, Texas, received a little more than a piece of gum when he returned from boot camp. A surprise of a lifetime awaited him after beginning his career in the Air Force. What could be so special, you may wonder? How about a gesture of love and appreciation from his father and family.

Driving his '02 Chevy S-10 Xtreme during high school, Jessie always had big plans for customizing his truck, but his bigger plans of serving in the Air Force prevented him from really going over-the-top on his mini. Once he left for boot camp, Jessie, his father, and his uncle, Robert Meza, owner of Alamo Customs, in Alvin, Texas, decided to add some custom touches to the S-10. First off, Jessie removed all of the factory racing decals on the truck, shaved the rear tailgate handle, and then Patrick Reed from San Leon, Texas, applied PPG Silver tribal flames to the blue body. After the paint was sprayed, the truck waited for Jessie to return home and check out his baby. The itch was again getting to his dad and uncle, and they began working on the interior.

The door panels and flamed dash cover were painted by Jessie's Auto and Paint, then Patrick Reed stepped in and built a fiberglass center console that also received some color. Replacing the gray carpet in favor of silver matched the silver tribal flames. The seats were customized next and they were covered in blue with silver inserts by Mike's Upholstery. In the rear of the cab, a fiberglass enclosure houses four 12-inch Memphis Audio subs, which are powered by Kicker amps. A JVC head unit sends the signals for all of the tunes.

Powering the Chevy is a 4.3L V-6, equipped with an air intake and a custom fiberglass engine cover, which was handmade by Kingpin Kustomz. Under the hood lies custom wheel tubs, a battery tray, and several painted plastic pieces. Mind-to-Metal in Houston, Texas, was the final piece of the puzzle, as they brought the Xtreme S-10 lower to the ground, via an air suspension. Up front, Belltech drop spindles and Slam Specialties 'bags bring the nose down, while in the rear a custom two-link with diagonal link with Slam Specialties 'bags keeps the rest of the truck on the ground. Two Viair 380 air compressors keep the 7-gallon tank and 1/2-inch airline filled. A rear bridge cover was painted to match the rest of the silver-and-blue theme. Twenty-inch silver wheels provide the extra custom touch need to garner trophies at shows.

Through blood, sweat, and tears shed from family and friends, Jessie truly has a wonderful gift that he will never forget. Now coming home to Santa Fe is even sweeter, because this tricked-out truck is also waiting for him. Truckin' would like to give a special thanks to all of our Armed Forces for everything they do for us. We do not take any of you for granted.

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