Guri Sandhu

An Indian American cardiologist in Minnesota, Dr. Guri Sandhu, has been restoring WWII jeeps in his spare time to honor war veterans, including the 11th Sikh Regiment of the British Indian Army. ( photo)

An Indian American cardiologist in Minnesota uses his spare time to pay homage to war veterans from the Second World War.

Dr. Guri Sandhu, who works at the Mayo Clinic’s catheterization lab in Rochester, restores World War II jeeps when he’s off the clock, according to a WREX report.

Thus far, Sandhu has restored a 1945 Willys MB that had been sitting in someone's barn for four decades, the report said.

“Once I got it home, I had to take the whole thing apart. For six months, there was no jeep. It was all in little Ziploc bags with carefully labeled parts,” Sandhu, who built the jeep to honor the 11th Sikh Regiment of the British Indian Army, said in the report. “And it took about 18 months to slowly restore all the parts, find old parts and then rebuilt it up from the ground up.”

Added the cardiologist in the report, “There were millions of Americans and about two-and-a-half million Indians who fought in the same battles – whether it was North Africa or Europe or Burma, Southeast Asia.”

Currently the doctor is working on restoring a 1942 Willys MB jeep.

He said the jeep was used in one of the parades when the World War II memorial was opened in Washington, D.C. in 2004.

His joy? Driving his own jeep.

“I think my favorite part is just the fact that it actually runs after so many years, and also the reactions from people,” Sandhu said in the report.  "Anytime you go to a crowded place, people absolutely love it – lots of waving, honking, smiles."

However, he shifted back the focus to the veterans who battled in the trenches during the war.

“To think about the contributions of the young men and women who fought for freedom, not just in one country but in multiple countries – an entire group of people across the Commonwealth," said Sandhu in the report.

Sandhu is a graduate of the University of Delhi's Maulana Azad Medical College. He earned a doctorate in molecular biology from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine Mayo Graduate School. He did his post-doctoral fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, his residency at the University of Minnesota and separate fellowships – in cardiovascular diseases and interventional cardiology – at the Mayo Clinic.

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