Purple Heart Run

A side view of the Purple Heart Truck

The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) and Wounded Warriors Family Support (WWFS) have joined together to sponsor the Purple Heart Run during the month of May 2016.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) is an organization for members of the U.S. Military who have received a Purple Heart Medal which is awarded to those who have been wounded or killed during combat with a designated enemy.

Their mission “is to foster an environment of goodwill and camaraderie among combat wounded veterans, promote patriotism, support necessary legislative initiatives, and most importantly, provide service to all veterans and their families.”

The Wounded Warriors Family Support (WWFS), is an organization that “provides support to the families of those who have been wounded, injured, or killed during combat operations”

The Purple Heart Run is an across-the-country and return drive of a mobility-equipped, 2015 Ford F-150 Super Cab truck by two combat wounded veterans from two wars decades apart. The drivers are LCpl Tyler Huffman, wounded and paralyzed veteran of the war in Afghanistan; and Joe Tidwell, wounded and disabled veteran of the Vietnam War. The truck has been especially adapted to suit veterans who are paralyzed or have lost legs or arms.

The trip will make its way from coast-to-coast and back, rallying communities to thank our country’s military veterans and support this great mission. The Purple Heart Run will begin in Mt. Vernon, VA, on May 2, traverse the nation to California and return to end in Washington DC on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016.

Both MOPH and WWFS believe that with a vehicle specially adapted for mobility, a combat-wounded veteran will have the freedom to live a productive and quality life with his or her family.

As the truck travels across the country and returns, it will stop to visit with local MOPH Chapters and Purple Heart entities. At each stop they will deliver Combat Wounded Parking Signs, free of charge, to any interested person as a means to honor and recognize these veterans.

Signs advertising the Purple Heart Run have been placed in the parking lots of businesses, restaurants, churches, schools and colleges, government buildings, medical facilities, and sports venues across the country. The public is invited and encouraged to show your support for our military families by visiting an event on the tour as a means of showing their support for our country’s veterans and their families.

In a special ceremony at the conclusion of the Purple Heart Run, the keys to the truck will be presented to Purple Heart recipient Nicholas Thom of Broad Run, Virginia, who was chosen from a nation-wide search of eligible and deserving nominees. In Feb. 2010, Patriot Thom was wounded while his unit was clearing Afghan villages of Taliban fighters. Nick was blown up by a command detonated I.E.D., losing both his legs from above the knees, 3 fingers, and suffered severe soft tissue damage to his forearms.

Schedule for the 2016 PURPLE HEART RUN

Mon, 5/2 – Mt. Vernon, VA and New York City: Rally in Times Square

Tue, 5/3 – NYC to Shanksville, PA (then to New Stanton, PA.
Morning appearance on Fox & Friends in NYC

Wed, 5/4 – New Stanton to Dearborn, MI
Visit Ford Plant, Tour Rouge Factory, home of the F-150 truck

Thu, 5/5 – Dearborn to Tinley Park, IL (273 mi, 4 hrs -1)
Visit UAW HQ and Detroit City Hall

Fri, 5/6 – Tinley Park, IL to Des Moins, IA to Council Bluffs, IA (450 mi)

Sat, 5/7 – Council Bluffs to Grand Island, NE (157 mi, 2.5 hrs)
Department of Nebraska Convention

Mon, 5/9 – Grand Island to Longmont, CO (415 mi, 6 hrs -1)

Tue, 5/10 – Denver to Colorado Springs, CO (113 mi, 2 hrs)

Wed, 5/11 – Colorado Springs, CO to Albuquerque, NM (374 mi, 5.5 hrs)

Thu, 5/12 — Albuquerque to Flagstaff, AZ (323 mi, 4.5 hrs)

Fri, 5/13 – Flagstaff to Las Vegas, NV (250 mi, 3.5 hrs -1)

Sat, 5/14 – Las Vegas to Los Angeles, CA (273 mi, 4 hrs) (CA PH State & LA PH City)

Mon, 5/16 – Los Angeles to Palm Springs, CA (117 mi, 2 hrs )

Tue, 5/17 – Palm Springs to Scottsdale, AZ (276 mi, 4 hrs 1)

Wed, 5/18 — Scottsdale to Sierra Vista, AZ (217 mi, 3.25 hrs)

Thu, 5/19 – Sierra Vista to El Paso, TX (275 mi, 4.5 hrs +1)

Fri, 5/20 – El Paso to San Antonio, TX (551 mi, 8 hrs)

Sat, 5/21 -San Antonio (1836 & 814)

Mon, 5/23 – San Antonio to College Station to Houston, TX (270 mi, 4 hrs)

Tue, 5/24 – Houston to Baton Rouge, LA (268 mi, 4 hrs)

Wed, 5/25 – Baton Rouge to Pensacola to Eglin AFB, FL (306 mi, 5 hrs)

Thu, 5/26 – Eglin AFB to Columbus, GA (221 mi, 4 hrs +1) (PH City)

Fri, 5/27 – Columbus, GA to Charlotte, NC (360 mi, 5.5 hrs) MAJOR MEDIA EVENT: Visit Coca-Cola World 600 Race. Participation by Carolina Panthers’ Cheerleaders.

Sat, 5/28 – Charlotte to Arlington, VA (397 mi, 6 hrs)

Sun, 5/29 – MAJOR MEDIA EVENT

WWFS/MOPH Ceremony to present Truck Keys to Disabled Veteran

Note: You can obtain viewing information on this special event by contacting a local chapter of MOPH by entering your address here:

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For more information about the Purple Heart:

1. The Purple Heart Medal

2. History of the Purple Heart

Chuck Yarling has had many titles in his career thus far: veteran, engineer, math teacher, consultant, technical writer, book author and publisher, and triathlete. He was a member the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Bugles Across America, which plays Taps at military funerals and special events. Spec. 5 Chuck Yarling served with the 26th Combat Engineering Battalion in Vietnam as an awards clerk. His service with the U.S. Army resulted in being awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Army Commendation Medal. You may reach Chuck at [email protected]