Adam Driver knew exactly how U.S. Army veteran John Williams felt.
As a former Marine himself, the 33-year-old Star Wars actor had also been injured shortly before his deployment, and so he was able to sympathize with Williams, who sustained a debilitating injury while training for Operation Desert Storm. Perhaps that’s why Driver was chosen to deliver a college scholarship to Williams’s daughter, Hayley Grace Williams, who is studying to become a nurse.
In a video posted online Tuesday, Driver hops in his truck and drives to Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania, where he surprises the family with the scholarship for Williams’s daughter.
The scholarship was awarded as part of a joint effort between Budweiser and Folds of Honor, which has reportedly awarded 2,200 scholarships to veterans and their family members since 2011.
In the video, Hayley Williams reads her application letter, in which she explains that her father’s injury was so severe that he needed steel rods and six screws to stabilize his spine. The elder Williams explains that the pain from the injury makes it hard for him to do his job as a bus driver.
“They sent me your letter; I was in the military too,” Driver says as he meets the family in their living room.
“[Folds of Honor] reached out to me and they told me to let you know that you got the scholarship,” he continued. “But also, Budweiser and I thought that you shouldn’t have to worry about school, so Budweiser is gonna be covering all your remaining school expenses for the rest of next year.”
As the emotional family celebrated, the actor — who played villain Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens — joined them for a group hug.
“I found the Williams’ to be an incredibly close knit and loving family. I understood where Hayley’s father John was coming from right away. John was injured right before being deployed. I was also injured right before deployment, so that sense of not finishing your job with the people you started with is something we connected on,” Driver told the Huffington Post.
“Despite his injuries he works incredibly hard as a bus driver to support his family,” he added. “Hayley’s father inspired her to become a nurse to help people just like him. So as I said I felt very fortunate to be there and to help Haley take the next step.”
Watch the video above.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum