Purple Heart Truck Tours California
By Charles Earthman, Dept. of CA Commander
The 2018 Purple Heart Truck Run toured California the last week of July. The mobility-equipped, 2018 Ford F-150 truck, adapted to suit combat -wounded veterans who are paralyzed or have lost legs or arms, visited our state on the final leg of a 7,800 mile trip across America.
With the theme "Mobility is Freedom” the truck run is sponsored jointly by Wounded Warriors Family Support (WWFS) and the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) and piloted by Purple Heart veterans Ken Teunissen of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Don Towers of Canton, Georgia.
The truck made nine stops in California beginning with a complementary servicing at Folsom Lake Ford and a warm welcome in Rancho Cordova (the temperature was 105°+). The next morning, they had a motorcycle escort to the State Capitol. The Capitol ceremony was highlighted by the presentation of resolutions by members of the Assembly and the state senate.
The truck than went on to Bakersfield where it began its southern California tour with stops in San Diego, Camp Pendleton, and Los Angeles and then proceeded back into the central valley to Fresno. On July 25th the truck entered northern California with a motorcycle escort to the Hansel Ford Dealership in Santa Rosa where they were received by local veterans and supporters and a Classic Car show and barbecue. The next morning they were off to Redding, their final stop in California.
The truck will have stops in Medford and Portland, Oregon, before ending its run in Spokane, Washington, at the Purple Heart National Convention where keys to the truck will be presented to US Army Sgt. Justin Burdette of Palm Bay, Florida, who lost both legs to an IED in Afghanistan.
The tour presents an opportunity for Purple Heart recipients to thank Americans for their appreciation and support of our nation’s military families.