F-150 Purple Heart Truck Stops in Bakersfield on its Way Home
Final drivers of 7,800-mile 2018 Purple Heart Truck journey take to the wheel to raise awareness for disabled veterans.
We have been following the journey of the 2018 Purple Heart Truck F-150. On its previous stop in Ogden, Utah the truck spent some time at the George E. Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home to raise awareness of disabled U.S. military veterans’ need for mobility options, and to collect a few more autographs on its way to Spokane, Washington.
This week, Bakersfield, California NBC affiliate KGET-TV got the chance to see the F-150 and interview its final two drivers before the truck once again hits the road, stopping in San Diego and Camp Pendleton, the next stop on the 7,800-mile journey between Washington, DC and Washington state.
Drivers Don Towers and Ken Teunissen started their leg of the journey in Boise, Idaho. Once in California, they spent a morning at the Bakersfield Vet Center, escorted by a throng of motorcycles. Towers told KGET-TV that driving this special truck has granted him the privilege to meet a wide range of people, all of whom support the cause.
As previously mentioned, the Purple Heart Truck F-150 will be presented to Sergeant Justin Burdette, who lost both his legs while serving a tour of duty in Iraq. Burdette drove the truck with co-driver John Haynes for the first two weeks of the journey before handing off the keys to James Donaldson and Lenny Lazzara, who took the truck from Valdosta, Georgia to Boise, ID.
The last few stops in this year’s Purple Heart Truck journey include Los Angeles and Redding, in California, and Portland and Medford, Oregon. The truck is scheduled to arrive in Spokane, Washington on July 30, where it will be part of the welcoming ceremony for the first day of the 86th annual Military Order of the Purple Heart National Convention.
If you’re on the West Coast, and you’d like to see the truck for yourself, this schedule should be of use to you.