August 7, 2021

Today, Saturday, August 7, is National Purple Heart Day 2021.  The predecessor of the Purple Heart, the Badge of Military Merit, was established by General George Washington to recognize heroic acts by his troops during the American Revolutionary War.  It was first issued on August 7, 1782, a purple cloth patch in the shape of a heart.

The Purple Heart, or Badge of Military Merit, was the first award intended for enlisted troops.  Following the Revolutionary War, the order that allowed for the bestowal of the award lapsed.  It was revisited on Washington’s 200th birthday, February 22, 1932.  The award was modified to become a purple medal with George Washington’s profile at the center, attached to a purple ribbon.

The criteria for receiving the Purple Heart have changed over the years.  According to militaryconnection.com, eligibility for the award today requires:

  • Served or serving in the U.S. Armed Services after April 5, 1917
  • Wounded or killed:
    • During an action against an enemy of the United States
    • During an action with an opposing armed force in a foreign country
    • While serving with friendly forces in an armed conflict against an opposing force
    • As a result of an act of an enemy or hostile foreign force

Pocatello has one of two active chapters of the Military Order of the Purple Heart in Idaho, Snake River Plain Chapter #829.  The Chapter is led by Commander Miguel Dominic.

To learn more about the Military Order of the Purple Heart in Pocatello, visit their Facebook page by clicking on the image, here:

 

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