WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - We've heard of veterans being honored with medals and letters. But how about with a truck? A local hero was recently honored in such a way, receiving a Purple Heart Truck.
The trucks are part of the Wounded Warriors Family Support's "Drive The Journey" tour. The former US Army Sergeant received one of just five trucks given out this year.
When James Logsdon saw his new truck for the first time, he could hardly contain his emotions. "I had the biggest smile I ever had I think,” said Logsdon.
He is one of just 93 veterans across the nation to have a Purple Heart Truck. "I'm actually the first Vietnam vet to actually receive one of these trucks,” said Logsdon. Logsdon is also the only Hoosier to have one of the special vehicles.
The truck was driven across the nation by project representatives telling James's story along the way. "They carried a picture of me. Every time they made a stop they explained who I was and how I was getting the truck. People would sign signatures with a felt pen,” said Logsdon.
Logsdon's Ford F-150 is specially equipped with devices such as a manual camper shell and winch. Each truck is made to provide easier access and use to veterans who have made sacrifices for our nation. "On August the 13th, 1970, I stepped on a command detonated 1-5-5 round and my other journey began,” explained Logsdon.
Logsdon lost both legs in the explosion. But that hasn't stopped him from helping fellow veterans across the nation. Logsdon is a former national homeless veteran’s coordinator. He has since brought his passion for helping veterans to Lafayette. He helped found the Mary T. Klinker Veteran's Charity and Resource Center. "We've done everything from working on vehicles to paying rent, mortgage and things like that,” he added.
Moving forward, Logsdon plans to take his truck to events to help raise funds for the resource center. James's next fundraiser will be held during an event at the Cosgray Christmas Tree Farm in Idaville. That event is this Saturday, November 17th.