Lexington, SC (WLTX) - Imagine walking down the street, you look up and you see a tank. Only you're not in a war zone, you're right here in the Midlands.
"I wasn't like the person that would want a sedan," said Lee Cato.
Every teenager falls in love with their first car. Lee Cato's is a heavy duty truck, but her true loves are military planes and vehicles.
"I couldn't own a plane, but I saw that people owned tanks. So I started looking into it and I said dad I want a tank."
Naturally her father was skeptical...but the two found a M29 Weasel in Idaho last year. But Cato wasn't satisfied with a small military vehicle; she wanted more.
"We went over to UK, Germany, Czech Republic and France."
They searched near and far and she finally met her true love, a 1984 Armed Personal Carrier tank that she calls "Sammie."
"It was actually a graduation gift from high school."
Being a 19-year-old with a tank just opens the door for the ultimate ice breaker in any conversation.
"I've gotten some pretty strange reactions. Normally repeat that again! What's that?"
Despite it's intimidating size the tank doesn't have any weapons on it.
The tank is not street legal but Cato hopes to make some repairs to the tank so that she can drive it in military parades.
She isn't going to college but will be attending trade school in the fall, to learn how to fix old vehicles like her tank.
"It wasn't what I really wanted to do. This is what I need to be doing, I don't need to go to college to learn about a job, I want to learn a trade like restoration and own these types of things."