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Purple Heart Run truck stops in Scottsdale

Brand new Ford F-150 pickup going cross-country (Kathy Cline/KTAR)

A special pickup truck is making its way across the country. The Purple Heart Run began May 2 and will finish May 30.

The run’s focus is getting veterans mobile again.

Driver Tyler Huffman (Missouri) is a Marine Corps lance corporal. In December 2010, enemy fire in Afghanistan paralyzed him from the waist down. He says thanks to his community and wounded veterans organizations, he and his family now have a new home and vehicle and he wants other veterans to know there is help available.

“(He will) drive it around the country, as a moving billboard, to get the word out about what these vehicles can do, and what we can do to help out vets and their families,” he said.

Huffman says being unable to get out of the house can have serious consequences for veterans.

“They’re stuck in the house with nowhere to go, their brain starts to wander,” he said. “Depression starts to set in.

“To have a home where you can get around freely, or have a vehicle where you can go out on town and take your kids out, or spend time with your family, it’s just an uplifter.”

The Purple Heart Run truck stopped in Scottsdale Wednesday. It’ll be presented to a veteran in Virginia on Memorial Day.