Retired farmer ends his more than 5,000 mile journey on a tractor all to show support for troops
SARASOTA - C. Ivan Stoltzfus is a retired farmer and Pennsylvania native who traveled across the United States in his 1948 John Deere tractor named Johnabilt all to show support for Veterans and First Responders who have been injured or suffer from PTSD. His journey concluded Saturday at the Der Dutchman restaurant in Sarasota.
"It started in Germantown, Maryland, headquarters operations for Second Chance right outside of the Walter Reed Hospital and we went to Gettysburg and we went west, as far west, as Red Lodge, Montana and did a lot of events along the way for PTSD and veterans and first responders," Stoltzfus said.
Johnabilt reached top speeds daily of 14 miles per hour and the voyage definitely found it's hardships along the way.
"Probably going over western Pennsylvania, going over the Allegheny Mountains, 10 percent grades and heavy rain and sometimes in some of the big cities the traffic was a little stressful," Stoltsfuz said.
While Ivan is not a veteran himself, he feels it was his duty to drive his tractor across the nation to raise funds for those who have served.
"So many of our veterans come over here and they just have a struggle adjusting back to single life and I see America has one big family. Family members help each other and we have a responsibility to help those that are willing to sacrifice for our freedom," Stoltzfus said.