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Man travelling across the country in his tractor to raise awareness for first responders, veterans

Posted: 8:05 PM, Sep 05, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-05 21:05:41-04

A national trip in an effort to bring awareness to wounded veteran and first responders is passing through Central Texas.

Ivan Stoltzfus is making a loop around the nation, visiting 17 states in his 1948 Johnabilt in the hope to collect recognition for those who have suffered injuries while protecting the United States.

"I just see so many veterans come back and try to adjust back to civilian life, and I see America as one big family, and family members help each other, and I really feel like we have a responsibility," said Stoltzfus.

"There is only 1% out there protecting the other 99% of us, and are willing to sacrifice for our freedom, and I feel like we have a big responsibility. I just feel the need to go out and bring awareness for PTSD and veterans and first responders," he continued.

Working in support of the nonprofit Operation Second Chance, Stoltzfus explained he found his purpose while on this mission.

"If I can bring one smile or help that one veteran or a policemen, it will be worth it all. We covered 49 states and last year we gave out a million dollars just for veterans or wounded veterans that need our help," said Stoltzfus.

Hoping to complete his 5,500 mile journey by mid-October in Sarasota, Florida, as of September 5, Stoltzfuz is at the 4,400 mile mark.

Stoltzfus said a certain token given to him recently by a man named Jerrmy Jackson gives his mission even deeper purpose.

"He stopped me and thanked me and said, "I have a gift for you." He gave me this little box, and it was his purple heart, and with tears in his eyes he said, "I want you to put this in the tractor."" remembered Stoltzfus as he teared up.

To learn what city Stoltzfus is visiting next, click here .