LINCOLN, Neb. - The Purple Heart Run truck is on its way across the country, and at the end of the month, it will be presented to Army Sgt. Justin Burdette. Burdette is a Purple Heart recipient who lost both his legs below the knees while fighting in Afghanistan.
This year's truck is a custom-made Ford F-150, equipped with special hand controls and seats that lower down to the ground for easy wheelchair access.
A Vietnam veteran and an amputee veteran are driving the truck across the country to Spokane, Washington where it will be presented to Sgt. Burdette. This year, the focus of the Purple Heart Run is "Mobility is Freedom."
James Donaldson lost both his legs while serving in the Army as well. For him, driving the truck is about more than just donations.
"It's not about raising money, it's not about anything like that," Donaldson said. "It's to show people that guys like myself and women like myself that have been seriously injured can go out there and still be awesome. Still, I guess metaphorically kick butt."
Donaldson said "Mobility is Freedom" is a powerful message for all veterans, especially those who have been seriously injured.
"The freedom part is amazing," Donaldson said. "A lot of guys will stay home, dwell in their demons in their head, and not want to go out and do anything. The best way to do that is to remain active in a good positive state of mind."
The truck is set to arrive at its destination at the end of the month. All money raised by the trip will go toward buying next year's truck.