June 12, 2018

Purple Heart Truck to Stop in Philadelphia as Part of a 7,800-Mile Journey, June 20

Coast-to-Coast Journey Aims to Raise Awareness of Combat-Wounded Veterans’ Mobility Needs

Truck Will Be Given to Double Amputee Purple Heart Recipient Justin Burdette

A bright purple Ford F-150 truck will be parked on the outdoor plaza of the Museum of the American Revolution on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. as part of the 2018 Purple Heart Truck Run. Driven exclusively by amputee veterans, the mobility-enabled truck is making a 7,800 mile journey across America to raise awareness for mobility issues faced by combat-wounded veterans. 

Double amputee and Purple Heart recipient Burdette (left) will receive the truck.
Double amputee and Purple Heart recipient Burdette (left) will receive the truck.

Chapter 1777 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) will host a brief ceremony on the outdoor plaza at 9:30 a.m. The ceremony also will include a demonstration of the truck’s capabilities and an introduction of the truck’s current driver, U.S. Army Sergeant (Ret.) Justin Burdette, a Purple Heart recipient and double amputee. The ceremony is open to the public. Participants and passersby will be invited to sign the truck.

The focus of the 2018 Purple Heart Run will be “Mobility is Freedom.” Sponsored jointly by the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) and Wounded Warriors Family Support (WWFS), The Purple Heart Run features a mobility-equipped, 201u Ford F-150 truck, adapted to accommodate combat-wounded veterans who are paralyzed or have lost limbs. The belief is that, given the right vehicle for mobility, a combat-wounded veteran will have the freedom to live a productive and quality life with his or her family.

Burdette in Afghanistan
Burdette in Afghanistan
The Purple Heart Run will make its way from coast to coast, rallying communities across America to thank our nation’s military veterans and support this mission. It will begin in Springfield, VA, on June 17 and end in Spokane, WA, on June 30 at the MOPH National Convention. On its way across America, the truck, provided by the Wounded Warriors Family Support Foundation, will stop at MOPH Chapters to demonstrate the capabilities of the truck and to distribute special parking signs that mark spaces to be used exclusively for Purple Heart recipients.
 

At the conclusion of the Purple Heart Run, the keys to the truck will be presented to Burdette, a Purple Heart recipient from Palm Bay, Florida, who was chosen from a nation-wide search of eligible and deserving nominees. On June 9, 2013, Burdette was on his third deployment to Afghanistan when his platoon received incoming mortar and rocket fire. Justin was hit with a 107 mm rocket, and the blast caused him to lose both legs below the knees. For his injuries, he was awarded the Purple Heart medal.

There are an estimated 1.8 million Purple Heart recipients that were either killed in action or were wounded in combat or by an act of international terrorism. Those combat wounded service members who have transitioned back into civilian life have made great sacrifices to ensure our freedoms, but they often go unrecognized. The road to recovery and reintegration into their communities can be a long and difficult struggle for both the wounded warriors and their families.

About Wounded Warrior Family Support
The mission of Wounded Warrior Family Support (WWFS) is to provide support to the families of those who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations. The families of our casualties suffer in many ways: some financially, some psychologically, and the overwhelming stress of the recovery process can threaten to tear a family apart. Programs include: A Family Retreat program to provide vacation retreats, free of charge; a Caregiver Respite Program provides respite and supplemental services nationwide to the caregivers and families of wounded war veterans; and the “Mobility is Freedom” program provides grants to qualified combat-wounded veterans for the purchase of a Ford vehicle, specially adapted to suit veterans who are paralyzed or have lost legs or arms. To learn more or to make a donation, visit www.wwfs.org.

About the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A. Inc
The Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A. Inc. (MOPH) was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all combat wounded veterans and active duty men and women who have received the decoration. Chartered by the Congress, The MOPH is unique among Veteran Service Organizations in that all its members were wounded in combat or by an act of International Terrorism. For this sacrifice, they were awarded the Purple Heart Medal. With grants from the MOPH Service Foundation, the MOPH and its Ladies Auxiliary promote Patriotism, Fraternalism, and the Preservation of America's military history. Most importantly, through veteran service, they provide comfort and assistance to all Veterans and their families, especially those requiring claims assistance with the VA. Programs of the MOPH include VA Volunteer Service, Suicide Awareness, Homeless Veteran Assistance, JROTC Leadership Awards, Scholarships, Americanism, Purple Heart Trail and Cities, Welfare, and numerous community service programs, all with the objective of service to Veterans and their families. To learn more or to make a donation, visit www.purpleheart.org.

About Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution has explored the dramatic, surprising story of the American Revolution through its unmatched collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, documents, and works of art. Immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and digital touchscreens bring to life the diverse array of people who created a new nation against incredible odds. Visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in the ongoing promise of the American Revolution. Located steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit www.AmRevMuseum.org or call 877.740.1776.