Retired sergeant drives cross-country in purple pickup to raise awareness for veterans

Mike Dougherty
June 20, 2018 - 3:03 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A wounded combat veteran is passing through Philadelphia on a cross-country journey to raise awareness for Purple Heart recipients and their struggles. 

Sgt. Justin Burdette parked his purple pickup truck outside the Museum of the American Revolution for a meet and greet, equipped with just about everything a double amputee could ask for. 

Burdette lost his legs in a rocket attack five years ago in Afghanistan.

"It has hand controls for the gas and the brake. It has a nice wheelchair crane so you don't have to try to throw your wheelchair in the back of the truck," he said. "And the seats actually lower down."

Burdette is going to put 7,800 miles on the truck as he heads toward Spokane, Washington, for the Purple Heart Truck Run 2018. After the trip, the ride is his. Along the way, he's hoping to raise awareness about services available to vets.

"Some veterans get back and feel like there's nobody out there helping them out," he added, "but there's hundreds of organizations out there."

Passersby were invited to sign the truck.

"I think it's extremely important that they know we appreciate them," said a passerby.