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A 2018 Ford Raptor decked out with accessibility features sits at the 9th Annual High Five Tour last year at Kelleher Motor Company in Ellensburg. The event returns to Kelleher’s on Friday.

It’s a day to remember, a day to lest not forget. More importantly, it’s a day of recognition for those who served and sacrificed.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the High Five Tour, celebrating a decade of giving back to the nation’s Purple Heart veterans. The Wounded Warriors Family Supports event is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday at Kelleher Motor Company at 602 N. Pearl Street.

When the mobility-equipped Ford F-150 Raptor rolls into town on Friday morning, it will not just showcase a vehicle designed to open up a new world of access to the disabled driver, event organizers hope it will open up a new appreciation of what veterans and their families endure on a daily basis, having served and returned injured.

“Ford modifies a vehicle each year and take it cross country. They allow people to come out and sign or put a message on it. It’s good opportunity for veterans to come out and be recognized by the community,” said Pat Kelleher of Kelleher Motors. “It’s special to have the vehicle stop here because it doesn’t stop everywhere. But its also a time for the community to come together and recognize its veterans.

Approximately 50 veterans from Kittitas County, including WWII, Korea War, Vietnam War, and current conflicts, will be honored and welcome the High Five Tour to Ellensburg. The tour is to thank Americans for their appreciation and support of our nation’s military families for the sacrifices that they make.

“When a service member goes to war, the entire family goes to war. When veterans return, we want to help with morale items,” said Col. John Folsom, USMCR (Ret.), founder and president of Wounded Warriors Family Support. “The High Five Tour wants to help make a real, tangible difference that will change the lives of deserving wounded warriors and their families.”

First responders from Kittitas County fire departments. EMS, Ellensburg Police, and Kittitas Sheriff’s office will be in attendance as well. Local Boy Scout Troop 473 will assist the veterans.

Specialist Scott West was the 2018 High Five Tour Ford F-150 Raptor recipient. Some of the special modifications include state-of-the-art devices designed to open access to the disabled driver. Starting with the “Bruno Valet Plus” transfer seat. The valet is created to move forward and backward, swivel out and back in and lower then raise all in a custom programmed sequence to allow the driver to effortlessly transfer into a vehicle, all at the push of a button.

The wheelchair is stowed in the bed of the pickup with the “Bruno Outrider” lift. This crane style lift is connected to the wheelchair and will raise the chair above the side rail of the pickup bed then swing the chair into the bed where it securely sits on the bed floor.

“A lot of times things are all smoke and mirrors to cover up the fact that it’s still all about the money. Military appreciation is either over achieved or under achieved, and right now I think the country is about under achievement,” said Vietnam veteran Tom Duke said. “All we ever asked (from our country) is to give us the respect we deserved for following orders.

“So something like this where the community has a chance to come together and show its veterans the respect they deserve, is always appreciated.”

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