The Purple Heart

Information is from www1.va.gov/opa/feature/celebrate/purple-heart.asp

The Purple Heart
It is one of the most recognized and respected medals awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces. Introduced as the “Badge of Military Merit” by General George Washington in 1782, the Purple Heart is also the nation’s oldest military award.

In military terms, the award had “broken service,” as it was ignored for nearly 150 years until it was re-introduced on February 22, 1932, on the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth. The medal’s plain inscription “FOR MILITARY MERIT” barely expresses its significance.

The picture of the Purple Hearts you see here are ones my uncle, James R. Hanson, received when he was a marine in the Vietnam War.  James R. Hanson was born October 11, 1945 in Barnesville, Minn.  He joined the Marine Corps on November 15, 1965 and went to basic training at Camp Pendelton, California.  He was deployed to Vietnam on May 14, 1966.  He was first wounded in action near Quang Tri.  He sustained a gunshot wound to his left hand, was presented with a Purple Heart and returned to action.  Two months, later, on September 28, 1966, he was killed in action in fighting near Quang Tri.  His mother, my grandmother, received his second Purple Heart.

Learn more about the Purple Heart Medal at:
www1.va.gov/opa/feature/celebrate/purple-heart.asp 

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