Thursday, April 3, 2014

Why a Purple Heart City/County Campaign?

I promised a blog about the impact of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) - Chapter 1000 campaign on the Purple Heart cities, counties, and locations and here it is.
Me and My husband (John) at Ray City, GA 
What is a Purple Heart City or location?
Proclamation from Homerville, GA
  • A Purple Heart City, County, or location has issued a proclamation declaring their area or
    institution as having great admiration for  the men and women from who have served in the Armed Forces
  • They also recognize the service and sacrifice of our nation's Combat Wounded and those who were killed in action.  
  • They have a chance to honor their local veterans, their Purple Heart recipients, and tell them and their families they appreciate their service and the sacrifices they have made.

Why do you want to travel the state and go to all these places as they become Purple Heart locations?

Valdosta, GA - Chapter 1000 Members,
Department Commander, and Mayor
Why not?  We have the opportunity to spread awareness of not only the MOPH but the service and sacrifice of local people in communities where we and our members live.  Our Chapter is comprised of combat wounded veterans who are spread across a very large portion of rural southern Georgia.  John met 5 Purple Heart veterans in a city less than 30 minutes from our home who had never heard of the MOPH.  These were veterans from Vietnam and WWII.  We've met family members that want to join as Associates to honor the service and sacrifice of their loved ones who received the Purple Heart.

Tifton, GA
Collecting and Giving Info
We've been able to give out information to veterans and family members about how the MOPH has  programs (like their assistance with VA Claims) that are in place to help ALL veterans, combat wounded or not.  We've told student veterans about scholorships they can apply for if eligible.

Of course, we would love to see our membership grow.  As a new chapter that just formed and received its charter in the last quarter of 2013, we are looking to increase our numbers.  But we don't want to simply increase our numbers.  We want to bring awareness of the MOPH into our communities, we want to engage in projects that give back and have a real impact, and we want to be able to proudly thank these veterans across our area for their service.

Patriot Guard Riders standing at the rear…Got you back, guys
The communities that we've been engaged with have presented proclamations, awards, ceremonies, and even appreciation of the family members that stand beside these veterans.  We've experienced veterans from the Vietnam era who were never involved in a veteran organization, come out of their shell, so to speak.

Ray City, GA as the Honor Guard from
Moody AFB presents the colors

The cities and communities that these members are in have recognized them and thanked them. That was something that didn't happen with they came home from the war they fought so many decades ago.  As you can see above and to the left, The American Legion /Patriot Guard Riders came out to one small town celebration.  We were grateful of the outpouring and attention from this group in Ray City.  My husband, and commander, John stated:

"If I can get them just a little thanks and recognition, it is the least I can do as a younger vet."

Presentation to WGTC by
Chapter 1000
We've been into schools and been privileged to get Wiregrass Georgia Technical College on board as the nation's first Purple Heart Technical College. We gave awards to the faculty that work with their Veterans Student Association.  We were able to thank them for their service to this population that faces unique challenges as they reintegrate into civilian life and education.

Wiregrass Georgia Tech in Valdosta, GA -
4 Campuses represented and their VSA Faculty
Chapter 1000 has helped to put Georgia on the map…literally.  When we started our campaign to increase Purple Heart Cities and Counties, there was one Georgia city on the national map.  Port Wentworth, Georgia was the only dot on the map and now Georgia has at least 22 locations.  See Chapter 1000's Site with links to the Proclamations also here.

Other news coverage:

UPDATE October 2015: Georgia has 65 Purple Heart Cities, 37 Purple Heart Counties, 2 Communities, 4 Islands, 7 College Campuses, 1 Regional Airport, and 2 Businesses designated as Purple Heart Locations.

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