Soldier's essay from Iraq wins him Mustang

It's difficult for any auto enthusiast to put into words why we care so much about these four-wheeled machines. Ford recently asked Mustang enthusiasts to do just that for a chance to win the new 2010 'Stang, and after pouring through thousands of 250-word essays, picking the top 25 and letting Mustang faithful vote for their favorite online, a winner has emerged. He is Kory Chesher of Edgewater, FL, a U.S. Army Specialist with the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division who is currently serving in Iraq. Chesher's essay recalls the first time he saw a Mustang when a 1968 black Fastback pulled into the left turn lane beside he and his dad at a stoplight. He was six years old at the time. He's never owned one and was saving up to buy his first Mustang when he returned to the U.S., and now thanks to Ford and his fellow Mustang enthusiasts who voted for his essay, Chesher will get a brand new 2010 Mustang and two tickets to the LA Auto Show for the car's world debut. Fortunately his group is returning to the U.S. this month, so Chesher should be able to make the show.

Chesher's 242-word essay, "A Life Obsession," follows:

It started when I was about 6 years old. I was in the truck with my father and we were at a stoplight. Across the road at the other light was this "car." It drew my attention away from everything else in the world. I asked my dad what it was and he simply said, "Oh, that's a Mustang."

I remember it like it was yesterday. I now know that it was a 1968 black Fastback. That was almost 20 years ago. Twenty years of love, addiction, obsession. Twenty years of longing and desire.

Now I'm a solider in the United States Army deployed to Iraq. I spend my spare time tearing through Mustang magazines that my family and total strangers are kindhearted enough to send to me. Every opportunity I get I'm online poring through forums and pictures; studying every little tidbit of knowledge I can get my hands on; meticulously memorizing seemingly insignificant trivia. Names, dates, specs, colors, paint codes, production numbers, costs, anything, everything.

A Mustang of my own wouldn't quell this life I live – it would supercharge it. The only thing greater than a life loving Mustangs is a life with a Mustang. With a Mustang to call my own I could finally experience the pride and freedom that I've only been watching from afar. It will ignite a passion like nothing I have ever experienced. Mustangs are my one true love.

I'm ready to go driving now.