Branson will welcome the Purple Heart Run truck, and its Purple Heart Recipient driver, on August 11, in a ceremony at the Radisson Hotel beginning at 11:00 AM. Participating in the ceremony will be Missouriâ€™s Lieutenant Governor Michael L. Parson, Military Order of Purple Heart Public Relations Director, John Bircher and others. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the ceremony.
The Purple Heart Run is not actually a â€œrunningâ€ event. Itâ€™s an 8,500-mile â€œrunâ€ of a 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor truck, adapted to accommodate combat-wounded veterans who are paralyzed or have lost legs and/or arms. The Run is sponsored jointly by the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) and Wounded Warriors Family Support (WWFS) and has a two-fold purpose.
The first is to rally communities across America to thank our Nationâ€™s military veterans. The second is to share the sponsorâ€™s belief that â€œgiven the right vehicle for mobility, a combat-wounded veteran will have the freedom to live a productive and quality life with their family.â€
Throughout the Purple Heart Run, the truck is being driven exclusively by amputee Purple Heart Veterans. It began on July 1, at the foot of the â€œWashington Monumentâ€ in our Nationâ€™s capital. Visiting communities along the way, it has traveled across the nation to California and is visiting Branson on its way to Dallas, Texas and MOPHâ€™s National Convention.
At the convention, the keys to the truck will be presented to U. S. Marine Sergeant (Ret.) Marshall Kennedy, a Purple Heart Recipient from Farmington, Arkansas, in a joint MOPH/WWFS ceremony on August 13. Sergeant Kennedy was on his fourth deployment when he lost both of his legs and sustained severe damage to his left arm after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED) in Sangin, Afghanistan on June 13, 2011.
MOPH appreciates the support and enthusiasm shown by all the Sponsors, MOPH Chapters and Departments, and the communities along the route the Purple Heart Run truck has traveled. â€œWe are so honored to host the Purple Heart Truck Run in Branson this year and be part of a community that is so appreciative and supportive of Veterans and Purple Heart Recipientsâ€ said Randi McCormick, Senior Sales Manager for the Branson Tourism Center. â€œFrom the fueling and servicing of the truck by Tri Lakes Ford, to the donation of pies by â€œBransonâ€™s Pie Man,â€ Linn Windle, and so much more, the support has been overwhelming,â€ she added. For additional information on the Purple Heart Run Ceremony please call Randi at 1-800-268-4014.