Army veteran wins Hyundai Hometown Hero

A retired Army sergeant who grew up in the Hilltop and Golfbrook projects of Northwest Jacksonville says his “life has been blessed” as he found out on Tuesday that he is the latest Hyundai Hometown Hero.

“I just do what my spirit tells me to do. And then I go from there,” said CSM Andrew Wynn, Sr.

The 30-year military veteran will be driving a brand new Hyundai Tucson SUV to go where he was to go now that he was selected out of nearly 200 other service members and veterans as the winner.

News4JAX partnered with the car manufacturer’s local dealerships to honor everyday people who have a positive impact on their communities and rewarded each with a new 2022 Hyundai Tucson SUV.

More than 5,800 votes were cast between 195 nominees. CSM Wynn received 2,292 votes.

“The funny thing is, I’ve been thinking about gettin me a new car but I kept saying, ‘Nah, I’m just gonna wait,’ because just the cost of the car and ya know, they’re up 40 percent so I just said ‘I’m gonna wait.’”

Wynn was raised by his single mother along with four siblings. He became a soccer star at William M. Raines High School and dreamed of playing the sport in college after earning two scholarships.

His mother, Idella, had a different dream for her son. The United States military.

“I tell everybody now, I’m living my mama’s dream for me,” Wynn said.

Three days after graduation, it was the passing of his mother that inspired him to live out her dream for him by joining the Army.

“I never ever, I wasn’t in the ROTC, I never thought about joining the military. I still had a promise that I made to my mom and I joined the military. I mean, she wanted me to change my life,” Wynn said.

Over his three-decade career, CSM Wynn served five combat missions and now helps mentor young people in schools and local youth programs.

He said he doesn’t deserve to be called a hero but nevertheless tries to earn it as he lives out his mother’s vision.

“This is not my dream. I never dreamed, I can’t say it enough, this is my mama’s dream for me. So she saw something I didn’t see,” CSM Wynn said. “I deployed five times and I ain’t never lost nobody. So, that’s my legacy. What I leave is my actions, words and deeds need to be aligned. So, the hero part is, I wouldn’t say that. I just want be a respected mentor.”

Here is the submission made on CSM Wynn’s behalf to the Hyundai Hometown Hero - Military contest: