For the first time in its history, the Purple Heart Legacy Truck Run is making a stop in Alabama, and Ed Sherling Ford was all set to host the truck during its July 5 visit to Enterprise.
Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Wiregrass supporters gathered at the dealership for a ceremony celebrating the truck’s visit and a demonstration of its capabilities bright and early Thursday morning. The Enterprise High School JROTC Color Guard also made an appearance, presenting the American flag for the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the program.
Enterprise Mayor Bill Cooper took the microphone to deliver a welcome to attendees.
“This is a very historic event to have this vehicle here in the City of Progress,” Cooper said. “Birmingham and Enterprise will be the only places in Alabama that will hold the showing. Enterprise is the gateway to Fort Rucker, and here we are on Rucker Boulevard now. We would like to thank Commander Green and his organization for what they do and all the veterans they support, and we want to thank Paul Sherling and the Ed Sherling Ford family for allowing this to happen out here right now. To our servicemen, keep on keeping on. God is looking down upon you with his many blessings. God bless Enterprise, and God bless America.”
Department of Alabama Military Order of the Purple Heart Commander David Vann Daughtry was also present to speak about the truck and the efforts of Enterprise’s MOPH chapter.
“If all our chapters in Alabama were as good as this one is… It just thrills me to see it,” Vann Daughtry said. “They’re only two years old, but they do great work, and I just want to commend them. They work hard, you see what they do in the community, and I want to personally thank all of them.”
Vann Daughtry took the opportunity to present Paul Sherling with a Purple Heart coin after his address and saluted Sherling for his support of the MOPH chapter in Enterprise. Sherling addressed the audience after Vann Daughtry.
“I want to thank everyone who’s given the ultimate sacrifice,” Sherling said. “The Purple Heart is not something that anyone who serves in the military asks for, but more than anything else, what we should do is thank them for their service, for the sacrifices they’ve made. We’re really honored; it’s a privilege and an honor to have the truck here for the first time in the state of Alabama. They chose Enterprise to be here today.”
Sherling called MOPH Chapter 2216 Commander Robert Green up to present him with a $1,000 check for the Enterprise MOPH chapter during the ceremony; additionally, Sherling said that for every customer who visits the Ed Sherling Ford dealership and test drives a vehicle in the month of July, the dealership will donate an additional $10 to the MOPH Chapter 2216.
Commander Green thanked Sherling for his generosity and spoke of his excitement for the event.
“I want to thank all of you for being here today to see this awesome vehicle,” Green said. “I’m just thrilled that it’s here; I’ve been excited about it for about a month and a half, and it’s finally here. It’s the city of Enterprise and the people of Enterprise that makes it, and they’re here today to see this truck.”
The ceremony was closed with a demonstration of the truck’s capabilities, given by its two drivers, James Donaldson and Lenny Lazzarra. Both Donaldson and Lazzarra are Purple Heart recipients themselves and will be making the trek to Birmingham with the truck once its stay in Enterprise is concluded.