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This Is What You Need to Know about the Purple Heart Medal

In 1957, the Purple Heart Foundation was established as the fundraising arm of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), a congressionally chartered veterans organization comprising a membership body of Purple Heart recipients. Today, the Foundation and MOPH continue to oversee and support a range of programs that help veterans recover and prosper following military service.

To gain a better appreciation of these two organizations and the decorated military members they serve, take a look at these 10 facts about the Purple Heart medal:

 

  1. The Purple Heart is the oldest military honor in the US.

While it took many more years to evolve into its current look and name, the Purple Heart has a history dating back to the 1780s. Its predecessor, the Badge of Military Merit, was established by President George Washington in 1782. After the medal fell into disuse, General Douglas MacArthur led efforts to revive the honor in the early 1930s, creating the modern-day Purple Heart.

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  1. The medal was first awarded during the Revolutionary War.

Elijah Churchill and William Brown of the Continental Army are most commonly credited as being the first Purple Heart recipients. Of course, the two soldiers received the honor under its original title, the Badge of Military Merit. The first modern-day Purple Heart was awarded to the man who helped create it, General Douglas MacArthur.

 

  1. It was the first military award for lower-ranking soldiers.

Prior to the establishment of the Purple Heart’s predecessor, military honors were typically reserved for officers credited with significant victories in battle. President Washington created the Badge of Military Merit specifically to honor the outstanding service of enlisted soldiers and noncommissioned officers among his troops.

 

  1. Animals are among the list of Purple Heart recipients.

In its long history, the Purple Heart has been awarded to four-legged recipients. During WWI, a dog named Stubby was awarded two Purple Hearts for his actions with the 102nd Infantry Regiment. A horse named Reckless also received the honor twice for wounds she incurred during the Korean War. Military service animals aren’t currently eligible for the Purple Heart, however.

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  1. Many well-known individuals have received the honor.

Over the years, the Purple Heart has been bestowed upon many people who are well-known for their civilian achievements. This includes politicians such as John Kerry and John McCain, writers and filmmakers such as Kurt Vonnegut and Oliver Stone, and actors such as Charles Bronson and James Garner.

 

  1. The Purple Heart has been awarded to only one US president.

Politicians at all levels of government are among the list of Purple Heart recipients. However, the list of US presidents who have earned the honor contains only one individual: John F. Kennedy.

As a Navy reserve lieutenant during WWII, Kennedy was injured during a boat collision near the Solomon Islands. Despite the injury to his back, he managed to swim to shore and save another soldier. In addition to the Purple Heart, Kennedy was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for this act.

 

  1. More Purple Hearts were awarded during WWII than any other conflict.

John F. Kennedy is among a large group of over 1 million people who earned the Purple Heart for their actions during WWII. In total, 1.07 million of the medals were awarded during the war, which is more than all that were awarded in all other 20th-century conflicts combined.

 

  1. Purple Hearts weren’t always reserved exclusively for injured or mortally wounded service members.

Today, the Purple Heart medal is only awarded to military personnel who are injured or killed during a hostile encounter with enemy forces, but this wasn’t always the case. Originally, the honor could be bestowed on anyone who provided a “meritorious act of extraordinary fidelity” during military action, regardless of whether or not they were injured.

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  1. The record for the most Purple Hearts awarded to one individual is in the double digits.

Although a number of service members have earned more than one Purple Heart, the record for the most Purple Hearts in US military history belongs to Curry T. Haynes. During the Vietnam War, the member of the 173rd Airborne Brigade of the 503rd Army Infantry received a series of injuries that later earned him 10 Purple Hearts. Haynes’ injuries occurred as the result of gunfire, grenades, and a B-40 rocket.

 

  1. Purple Heart Day honors Purple Heart recipients.

On August 7, government agencies, current and former service members, veterans’ organizations, and other groups come together to take part in National Purple Heart Day, which was first observed in 2014. This special day of observance gives people the opportunity to recognize the sacrifices of the men and women who have been injured or killed while serving their country. Ways to get involved include attending an event or donating to groups such as the Purple Heart Foundation.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

A Look at the Latest News from Wounded Warrior Project

wounded warrior projectAs one of the nation’s most active and well-known military service organizations, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) never stops working to improve the lives of military veterans and their families. Recently, WWP and its supporters have advanced a number of causes benefitting the military community. Read on for a closer look at some of the organization’s latest news and activities.

 

San Antonio Hosts WWP Carry Forward 5K

In early October, more than 2,000 WWP supporters gathered in San Antonio’s Mission County Park for the third WWP Carry Forward event of 2019. The 5K, which occurred on October 5, attracted volunteers from states as far away as Alabama. During the event, participants completed the 5K while carrying a flag, weights, or another person.

The number of runners who have collectively supported Carry Forward in 2019 so far exceeds 5,000, which includes the San Antonio participants. In addition to raising awareness of veteran issues, Carry Forward 5K events raise much-needed funds for a variety of programs and services benefitting military families.

 

Freedom Fest Raises Thousands for Wounded Veterans

Throughout the year, individuals and organizations nationwide host independent events to raise money for WWP’s work. One of the fastest-growing of these fundraisers is Freedom Fest, an event that takes place annually in Greenville, Virginia.

Hosted at Greenville’s Stoney Creek Resort and Campground, Freedom Fest was launched in 2016 by Dan Murray, Gloria Shephard, and Joe Murray. The event has grown over the years to attract thousands of participants for a weekend of activities that focus on honoring and supporting military veterans and their families.

The fourth annual Freedom Fest took place in October 2019. More than 4,000 people, many from hundreds of miles away, attended. The event raised over $67,000 for WWP programs and services, which are provided to veterans and military families free of charge.

 

Wounded Warrior Veterans Climb in Lake Tahoe

Recently, several veterans with PTSD accepted the challenge of climbing the 1,000-foot Tram Face in Lake Tahoe’s Squaw Valley. The climb was led by guides at Alpenglow Expeditions and was held as part of a WWP Project Odyssey mental health workshop.

A unique mental health program, Project Odyssey seeks to help veterans and their families recharge, rediscover, and re-engage through outdoor retreat activities and follow-up support. Retreat activities include challenges such as whitewater rafting, kayaking, and rock climbing.

The retreat in Lake Tahoe was a Project Odyssey couples activity, which focuses on helping veterans and their spouses to reconnect and build communication. The climb up Tram Face was one of several activities that couples took part in during the workshop. They also enjoyed a bike ride, yoga, and art activities. Following Project Odyssey retreats, WWP provides participants with three months of follow-up that is focused on goal setting and continued positive growth.

 

WWP Renews Support for Team Red, White & Blue and Other Groups

In addition to advancing its own programs and services, WWP provides ongoing support for a number of veteran and military service groups. In fact, since 2012, Wounded Warrior has provided over $85 million in grants to dozens of organizations. One of its longtime partners is Team Red White & Blue, which recently received a $250,000 WWP grant.

Announced in September 2019, the grant will support Team Red, White & Blue’s Chapter and Community Program. Through the program, the organization helps veterans to connect while taking part in physical and social activities. Team Red, White & Blue hosts thousands of activities each year, creating a nationwide network of active and socially engaged veterans.

Along with continuing its support of Team Red, White & Blue, WWP announced that it is providing grants to a number of additional organizations, as well. The list of partners includes Hiring Our Heroes, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, among several others.

 

WWP Grant Boosts Funding for Research on Toxic Exposure

In its efforts to promote the health and well-being of men and women who have served in combat, WWP raises awareness and funds for research on veteran-related illnesses and conditions. While much of this work is focused on PTSD and traumatic brain injury, the organization also advocates for veterans who have been affected by toxic exposure, an issue that ranks among WWP’s top legislative priorities.

To further advance this issue, WWP recently provided a $195,000 grant to support a collaborative partnership between the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, the Veterans Health Council, and Vietnam Veterans of America. The partnership is focused on increasing public education and awareness of toxic exposure through various activities. The partnership also aims to increase research on toxic exposure and boost the number of organizations, veterans, and stakeholders that are advocating for the issue.

In the area of toxic exposure, WWP is also encouraging veterans of conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, and Southwest Asia to register for the VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. Launched in 2014, the registry is being used by the VA to measure and raise awareness of health issues among veterans deployed to areas where burn pits were used.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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This Is a Full Look at Wounded Warrior’s Carry Forward 5K Challenge

wounded warrior projectAs a nonprofit organization dependent on the support of volunteers and donors, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) offers a variety of ways for people to get involved in advancing its work assisting military veterans and their families. It maintains corporate and community partnerships and oversees fundraising initiatives such as workplace giving programs.

In addition, the organization works with community members nationwide to host various events in cities throughout the country. One of WWP’s newest and most unique events is its Carry Forward 5K. Here’s a complete look at this fundraiser and awareness fitness challenge:

 

What is the Carry Forward 5K?

WWP’s Carry Forward 5K is an event that gives participants the opportunity to test their strength and stamina while raising money and awareness for the country’s military community. First launched in May 2018, this 5K challenge features three levels of participation for racers of all ability levels.

At the base level, individual participants and squads can show their patriotism and support for active-duty military members and veterans by carrying a flag throughout the 5K route. Those looking to increase the challenge can choose to carry a 1- to 100-pound weight as they run or walk to the finish line. Finally, participants seeking the ultimate challenge can carry another person from start to finish.

 

 

Where is it held?

Currently, WWP Carry Forward events are held in four US cities: San Diego, California; Nashville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Texas; and Jacksonville, Florida. The most recent Carry Forward 5K took place Saturday, August 24, 2019, in San Diego. Several celebrities participated in the event, including The Bachelor’s Colton Underwood and LA Chargers quarterback Cardale Jones. Along with the 5K, the Carry Forward activities included a morning concert featuring The Band Steele.

The 2019 Carry Forward series continues with 5Ks in Nashville on September 21, San Antonio on October 5, and Jacksonville on November 9. Fundraising seeks to generate between $100,000 and $200,000 for WWP’s various programs and services.

 

How can people get involved?

Those interested in taking part in a Carry Forward event have several options for getting involved. WWP supporters planning to walk, jog, or run the 5K can register as individual participants or members of a squad. Registering online for a Carry Forward event is a straightforward process that involves entering your name, choosing your event city, and selecting an activity level.

The standard adult registration fee is $35. With a promo code, active military members and veterans can receive $5 off, and youth participants ages 6 to 17 can receive $15 off. There is no registration fee for WWP Alumni participants. Individuals who don’t register online can still sign up the day of the event for $40.

In addition to paying the required registration fee, each participant is encouraged to lead their own Carry Forward fundraising campaign. WWP provides a variety of fundraising ideas, tools, and resources on its website. Along with receiving the satisfaction that comes from supporting the nation’s military community, fundraisers are rewarded for their efforts with gear and prizes such as Carry Forward shirts and other wearable mementos.

If you can’t make it to a Carry Forward city, you can register to host your own event in your community. These events must take place between July 4 and December 15 to qualify for fundraising incentives. Carry Forward supporters can also make general donations of any amount to the series online via a secure giving page.

 

What do Carry Forward events support?

As with other WWP fundraising initiatives, the money donated to Carry Forward events supports the organization’s wide range of programs, services, and activities for military veterans as well as their family members and caregivers. These programs focus on areas such as mental and physical wellness, career development, personal independence, and social interaction.

One of WWP’s major initiatives is its Wounded Care Network. It leverages a network of leading medical centers to provide comprehensive treatment for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and other related conditions.

Wounded Warrior Project also oversees a resource center to help military veterans and family members sign up for WWP activities, process Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense benefits claims, and apply for emergency financial assistance. Other WWP programs focus on helping veterans connect with one another in their own communities.

Without Carry Forward and its other fundraising activities, WWP would not be able to continue providing these and other life-changing programs. The organization and its supporters raise tens of millions of dollars annually, including over $197 million in fiscal year 2018.

WWP fundraisers and supporters can also rest assured knowing that their time and resources are benefiting a great charity that maintains accreditation with the Better Business Bureau, top-rated status with Charity Navigator, and a GuideStar Platinum rating. More information about supporting Wounded Warrior Project can be found at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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Here Are the Top Programs the Purple Heart Foundation Supports

purpleheartfoundationWith origins dating back more than six decades, the Purple Heart Foundation has a long history of supporting initiatives for military veterans and their families. The group’s activities help ensure that the nation’s veterans can lead fulfilling lives after transitioning from military service.

Over the years, the Foundation has led programs that provide education, occupational training, health services, and support for those dealing with combat-related injuries and disabilities.

While the Purple Heart Foundation oversees several of its own programs and service initiatives, the group mainly functions as the fundraising arm of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH). Launched in 1932, the Order is the country’s only military service organization with a membership body made up entirely of Purple Heart recipients.

With support from the Foundation’s donors and fundraising activities, MOPH has been able to launch and grow a wide range of programs for the nation’s military community. Whether you are already a Purple Heart Foundation supporter or just now considering making a donation, take a look at some of the MOPH programs that receive funding from the Foundation’s donor dollars:

 

MOPH National Service Program

MOPH operates on an annual budget of approximately $6.4 million. Nearly $5 million of this is directed toward its National Service Program (NSP). Each year, approximately 125,000 veterans and their family members receive assistance via NSP. It operates through a nationwide network comprising 72 service offices staffed by over 100 trained National Service Officers.

The Order’s team of National Service Officers assist veterans in filing benefits claims with Veterans Affairs (VA). Regardless of whether they are a member of MOPH, veterans whose benefits have been denied by a local VA office can also turn to NSP for expert legal representation before the Board of Veterans Appeals and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Among other things, NSP assists with VA claims related to employment, housing, education, job training, and medical care. Over 12,000 claims were submitted to the VA through the program in fiscal year 2017.

 

Purple Heart Trail

For more than 25 years, MOPH has been overseeing the Purple Heart Trail program. It aims to create a nationwide connected system of roadways, bridges, and monuments honoring the country’s Purple Heart recipients.

The idea for the Trail was first introduced by a member of MOPH Chapter 1732 in Virginia. The program was launched as an MOPH resolution during the organization’s 1992 National Convention in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Following the launch of the Purple Heart Trail, the first monument was dedicated in Mt. Vernon, Virginia, George Washington’s burial location. Since then, the trail has been extended to 45 states as well as the United States territory of Guam. The local roads, highways, and monuments that make up the Trail are marked by signs of various designs and formats.

In addition to roadways and physical monuments, government leaders and citizens of local municipalities can work with MOPH to establish Purple Heart cities, counties, universities/colleges, etc. To find more information about the Purple Heart Trail and a map of current Purple Heart locations, visit www.purpleheart.org.

 

POW/MIA and Homeless Veteran Outreach

In addition to honoring men and women who have been wounded in combat, MOPH has worked throughout its history to ensure that prisoners of war and those reported missing in action are remembered and accounted for. The Order maintains a close relationship with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), which oversees a searchable online database of both unaccounted-for and accounted-for POWs/MIAs. MOPH provides a link to the DPAA database on its website.

Another area of focus at MOPH is homelessness among military veterans. While this issue has improved in recent years, it still persists. As part of MOPH’s efforts to assist veterans who have been displaced without a permanent residence, local chapters across the country participate in Stand Down events.

These provide food, shelter, clothing, medical support, and other services for the veteran community. On the national level, the Order works closely with VA and other groups to connect those in need with homelessness resources.

 

Promoting Americanism and Good Citizenry among Youth

Another major component of MOPH’s work is focused on promoting patriotism and a love of US history in the nation’s schools. The Order does this under the leadership of its National Americanism Officer, who helps connect teachers and leaders of other organizations with various educational resources.

These resources include printable PDF versions of patriotic songs and historical documents. MOPH’s website features PDFs of the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, and The Star-Spangled Banner, among other documents.

The Order also encourages young people to serve their country through its support of senior and junior ROTC programs in public schools across the United States and Department of Defense schools worldwide.

Additionally, MOPH is currently working through its Veterans Affairs Volunteer Service program to create a new merit badge for the Boy and Girl Scouts of America. The proposed badge would recognize youth for volunteering their time to serve the nation’s veterans.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.