Redding Chapter 2001
Joe Marvin, Commander
For Immediate Release July 27, 2018
REDDING, Calif. — Ken Teunissen of Sioux Falls, SD, and Don Towers of Canton, GA, are completing the last leg of a 7,800 mile Purple Heart Truck Run, a national tour in a specially-equipped purple pickup truck designed to provide ease of mobility for one of America’s wounded warriors.
During their overnight stop in Redding on Thursday, July 26, Teunissen and Towers visited the Northern California Veterans Home. They were escorted
there by a phalanx of Patriot Guard motorcyclists and nearly a dozen members of the local Military Order of the Purple Heart, Jack Tolbert Unit 2001.
“We are delivering this wheelchair-lift equipped Ford F 150 half-ton four-wheel-drive vehicle to
the Military Order of the Purple Heart’s National Convention in Spokane, Washington, on July 30,” explained Towers.
Keys to the 2018 Purple Heart truck will be presented to US Army Sgt. Justin Burdette of Palm Bay, Florida, who lost both legs to an improvised explosive device (IED) while on deployment in Afghanistan, Teunissen explained.
In Redding, veterans home residents and staff members were invited to make a donation and sign the truck or its matching purple canopy with indelible markers. Some added a blessing for Burdette, who in civilian life operates a fishing charter service to support his wife and son.
The $140,000 vehicle and wheelchair lift package is a joint gift from the Military Order of the Purple Heart and the Wounded Warriors Family Support organizations.
“I first heard about the Purple Truck Run three years ago when attended my first MOPH National Convention as Commander of the Redding Unit,” explained Joseph Marvin of Redding. This year, Marvin invited the Purple Truck Run to stop in Northern California while on its way north to scheduled stops in Oregon and Washington.
“Our Unit is one of the top MOPH chapters in California, so naturally I wanted the Purple Truck Run to stop here,” said Marvin.
The 2018 theme for the Purple Truck Run is “Mobility equals Freedom!”