The Wild creates inspiring war veterans film for KIOTI Tractor 

Mark Johnson's picture

US tractor maker KIOTI has created a one-of-a-kind UTV (utility task vehicle) for triple amputee army veteran J.D. Williams.

The company enlisted Baldwin& and Jungle Creations’ creative agency, The Wild, to chronicle J.D.’s story and the modification project with KIOTI through two powerful films, that will be distributed on VT. 

Revealing story

The first film, ‘The Reveal’, introduces J.D. as he recounts how he sustained his injuries and the difficulties he faced as he transitioned back into civilian life, especially as a passionate outdoorsman, before he’s presented with the customised KIOTI UTV. 

The second film, ‘The Adventure’, sees J.D. explain why getting back to the dirt was so crucial for his recovery and shows him with fellow veterans enjoying the customised UTV in the great outdoors. 

Afghan tour of duty

While on deployment to Afghanistan in 2010, during his second tour, J.D. was leading a recon team in enemy territory when an IED (improvised explosive device) detonated directly beneath him. 

J.D. lost his right arm and both of his legs in the explosion and has had to overcome enormous challenges as he adapted to his new circumstances. 

Now retired, J.D. lives on an 80 acre farm in Kentucky with his wife and daughter, where he pursues his passions for farming and hunting, although mostly relying on wheelchairs which wear out quickly on the property. 

Outdoor passion

J.D. shares his passion for the outdoors with other veterans through Mohawk Outdoors, a non-profit he founded which is dedicated to helping veterans re-acclimate to civilian life through active, outdoor-focused excursions. 

Inspired by J.D.’s story, and dedicated to celebrating communities and people who embrace ‘getting back to the dirt’ as a way to heal themselves and others, KIOTI connected with J.D. to offer him a customised KIOTI UTV. 

The custom vehicle features modifications specific to J.D.’s needs, including a steering wheel adapted for the use of a prosthetic, a removable platform lift, hand controls added to the left side and a winch kit added and optimised specifically for J.D. to operate it. 

The Wild’s two-part series encapsulates how KIOTI’s custom UTV will not only benefit J.D. but all members of the Mohawk Outdoors organisation by helping them to get to places they’ve never been. 

Or as J.D. puts it, ‘getting these guys out of their wheelchairs, out of their houses, out in nature, in the dirt and experiencing what is the most healing thing in the world… the great outdoors.’ 

‘The Reveal’ was released on Veterans Day (11 November) across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube on Jungle Creations’ flagship news and entertainment channel, VT, and ‘The Adventure’ was released across the same channels on 18 November. 

The films are also being promoted through supporting Facebook and Instagram Stories, and an article on VT.co. 

Oliver Warley, Production Lead at The Wild, said: “We’re incredibly honoured to have partnered with KIOTI and Baldwin& on this campaign, which gave us the chance to help change the life of someone so deserving. 

“The project involved a series of firsts for The Wild; from finding this extraordinary group of veterans with interests in outdoor activities to being able to modify a KIOTI UTV and shooting on location in Kentucky.

“J.D. is a truly remarkable person who has positively impacted the lives of many and we’re proud to have helped him share his story and his passion for the outdoors and to support his mission to reconnect other veterans with nature.” 

Christina Propst, Creative Director at KIOTI Tractor, said: “When we heard Purple Heart, triple amputee Sergeant J.D. William’s story, we knew we wanted to give back to him. 

“His new machine will make it easier for him to hunt, fish, work his 80-acre farm, and support his fellow veterans through his non-profit Mohawk Outdoors.”

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