GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - His truck is as red as the stripes on the American Flag he proudly displays from it. If you've seen a man on street corners holding patriotic looking signs at Gulfport intersections, he's not trying to sell something or get a candidate elected.
"I feel strongly about buying American," Jimmy McNeely said.
McNeely considers himself a Patriot. That's why he wants everyone to "buy American" to save jobs and strengthen our nation. He claims he has proof that things made in the USA are just as good, if not better than foreign products.
McNeely believes it is his patriotic duty to do his part to help keep jobs here and build our nation's strength from within, instead of increasing our "out of control" trade deficit.
"I just don't see anything else other than American products being able to withstand what this truck has done."
He's talking about the backdrop for his message, his 12 year old F-150 Triton V8 truck.
"I bought it brand new in 1998 at Butch Oustalet. Right now I've got 350,000 miles."
That's impressive for any vehicle, but especially when you consider what McNeely's truck has been through. He has home video showing his prized Ford floating during the height of Hurricane Katrina.
"It actually stayed under water for eight and a half hours. It flooded six foot up to the rear view mirror. It was in my yard and after the water receded it stayed with water in it for 90 days," McNeely said. "We got underneath a shady tree and started changing oils and fluids, fired it up, and I've been running it ever since."
He compares the resurrection, of sorts, to other cars in the exact situation.
"There were eight other vehicles at my house when the storm came and mine was the only one that was able to be repaired and get up and running. Everybody else's got hauled off and they're beer cans now. And mine's still rolling around."
You may see the "Tomato Man" and his bright red Ford Truck rolling around town.
Before driving away, McNeely added, "Like the Timex watch commercial, it just takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin' and won't quite running."