Tuesday, August 17th 2021, 9:20 pm
A Hulbert nine-year-old is asking for a million Jeeps to escort her dad to his final resting place.
Chad Disler died from COVID-19, and now the Jeep community is rallying to try to grant his daughter's wish.
"She told us is she wanted a million Jeeps to escort her daddy, so that's what we're trying to do,” said William Osenbaugh.
Osenbaugh met Chad Disler through the group Rejected Jeepers.
He said the group is like a family, going on camping trips, spending birthdays together, driving through mud, and much more, but one thing he'll always remember is Chad's kind heart.
“If you get in trouble on a trail, Chad's right there to guide you through it or tow you out of it. Whatever you needed to be done, Chad was there,” said Osenbaugh. "It's sad that he's gone.”
Chad died on August 11th from complications of COVID-19. He and his wife, April, have five kids, but his nine-year-old daughter Hailee loves Jeeps.
"She absolutely loves Jeepin,” said Osenbaugh. “Every time we went, she was there with us and would want to ride in everyone's Jeeps.”
So far, the Rejected Jeepers have about 40 Jeeps lined up for the procession, but they're hoping to surprise Hailee with more.
"COVID has devastated a lot of people and it's devastated this family and we're just looking for support," said Osenbaugh. "I'm hoping to make this little girl’s dream come true.”
"She asked me the other day if Jeepers were coming so I told her yes," said Rachel Duke.
Duke said Chad and his family are a big part of their Jeep community. She said Hailee always loved to ride in her jeep and hold the Jeeper mascot, "Woofy."
"She'd always want to get back in the back seat and five minutes of wheeling we're going on trails and it's bumpy and she's asleep with Woofy the whole time,” said Duke.
The group is also having flags made for the procession to hang on the back of their Jeeps. The flags will have Chad's Jeep's name, Insidious, on one side and a special message between April and Chad on the other.
"They would send each other 143 which means I love you and the other would say 143 2,” said Osenbaugh. “We just want April, the kids to know we've got your back.”
A special connection, built on four wheels, has turned into a promise to make Hailee's wish come true.
"If you've got any kind of jeep, it doesn't matter, wrangler, XJ YJ, gator please come out and support this little girl,” said Osenbaugh. “She's going through a hard time right now, so we need to make her smile."
The group said Jeep owners who want to be a part of the procession should meet at Shipman Funeral home in Wagoner Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.
The procession is about seven miles and will go from the funeral home to Pioneer Cemetery in Wagoner.
If you would like to help with funeral expenses, click here.
There’s also stickers and t-shirts for sale to raise money for the family. Click here for the link.
This story has been updated to reflect Hailee's age: she is nine, not seven as first reported.
August 17th, 2021
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