Posts Tagged ‘Purple Heart’

Georgia declared a Purple Heart state, August 7 will be Purple Heart Day

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Maj. Gen. Jim Butterworth, Georgia’s Adjutant General, honored the courage, commitment and sacrifice of four Georgia Guardsmen in front of their families and fellow servicemen Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Atlanta.

Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Rosenburg, Spc. Jonathan Mathews, Sgt. Stephen Bray and Spc. John Rivers received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in combat while assigned to the 1-214th Field Artillery Battalion.

Following the ceremony, Deal signed Senate Bill 276, which declared Georgia to be a Purple Heart state and designated Aug. 7 as Purple Heart Day. The legislation was sponsored by state Sen. Ed Harbison, a Purple Heart Medal recipient who served three tours in Vietnam.

“These four men, who were honored here today, are recognized for the sacrifices they have made,” said Deal. “But all of you who were in harm’s way were simply one breath away from being in the same exact position. So, in some ways, this ceremony, even though it is dedicated to the Purple Heart recipients, I believe it should be dedicated to all of you, because, you did not have a choice about where you were. You were in the line of fire in many instances, and we are pleased that you all came back. I believe this ceremony is for all of you, and I believe these four men would say the same thing.”

The governor asked the four Purple Heart recipients to stand with him as he signed SB 276, and gave each of the Soldiers a pen used during the signature ceremony.

“We thank the Soldiers and family members represented here today,” continued Deal.

“Sometimes people forget the sacrifices made by members of our military today,” said Deal. “They don’t understand the sacrifices made by Soldiers and family members. This is a story that we need to tell our fellow Americans, because it is the story of the sacrifices that have made our country great from its inception. We will continue only so long as there are men and women willing to voluntarily step forward.”

More than 16,500 Georgia Guardsmen have deployed overseas since Sept. 11, 2001. The 1-214th FA is one of the most recent Georgia National Guard units to return from overseas duty. The battalion conducted more than 720 combat patrols in western Afghanistan, from May to December 2013, and was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation. Approximately 500 Guardsmen are currently serving overseas as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Governor Deal proclaims “Purple Heart Week” in Georgia

Purple Heart (Click to expand the Proclamation)

Governor Nathan Deal signed a proclamation declaring August 4 – 10, 2013 as Purple Heart Week; a time set aside to honor recipients of the Purple Heart medal. This week marks the 231st anniversary of the establishment of the Purple Heart by General George Washington.

The Order of the Purple Heart for Military Merit – the oldest military honor in the world in present use – is a combat decoration awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of the U.S. Armed Forces who is wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy. It is also awarded posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. The Purple Heart is the first award made available to a common soldier.

General George Washington devised the Badge of Military Merit in the figure of a heart in purple cloth on August 7, 1782. He wrote that it was to be awarded “whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed.” On February 22, 1932, the U.S. War Department designated this honor as the Purple Heart. The Military Order of the Purple Heart of the United States of America was chartered by Congress on August 26, 1958 as the only organization of combat wounded veterans. Eligibility criteria for the medal expanded to include those killed or wounded as a result of an international terrorist attack or as part of a peacekeeping force.

To date, more than 1.7 million men and women have received the Purple Heart. Georgia is home to more than 5,000 veterans and active duty military personnel who have received the honor.