Students and teachers at Purple Heart Elementary School decorated their school entry way and lined up along Campuzano Street to welcome veterans and to participate in the 2016 National Purple Heart Run.
The run is a national campaign that features a special vehicle that will be presented to a combat-wounded, disabled veteran. The truck is adapted to suit veterans who are paralyzed or who have lost legs or arms.
“Purple Heart is a big name for an elementary school,” said Jennifer Parker, campus principal. “We were excited to show that we are an honorable school, in an honorable community, doing honorable things.”
Purple Heart was the only school to receive a site visit from the Purple Heart truck, which is on a voyage to crisscross the nation in an effort to create awareness on the cost of freedom.
“It was beautiful to see the kids greet us,” said Joseph P. Tidwell Jr., National Coordinator of Homeless Veteran Program for the Military Order of Purple Heart. “This is a very special school to us. We had heard about it, but to be able to be here personally is big for me.”
“I am really excited to be part of this,” said Briana Martinez, a fifth-grade student at Purple Heart. “It’s an honor to meet someone that has helped America and I feel proud to be able to contribute and help.”
The run is sponsored by the Wounded Warriors Family Support (WWFS) and the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH).
Members of the organization say that with the right vehicle for mobility, a combat-wounded veteran will have the freedom to live a productive and quality life with his or her family.