From staff reports
The Winston County Board of Supervisors Monday, January 6 accepted the designation of a Purple Heart Community, commemorating the number of military personnel who now live or once lived in county who have been injured in battle.
Winston County Veteran’s Officer Terry Kelley explained to the the board that the Military Order of the Purple Heart, a fraternal, benevolent organization that promotes the recognition of the Purple Heart was seeking support of communities across the country of those who have been injured serving their country.
“Winston county is full of purple heart awardees,” Kelley said.
The medal, which Kelley said recognizes any soldier “who was injured, bled or died” in combat, is the oldest continually awarded medal in the military. It has been awarded since April 5, 1917. As of 2011, there have been 2 million Purple Hearts awarded.
The proclamation states that Winston County has a large population of highly-decorated veterans including many Purple Heart recipients. That the county “appreciates the sacrifices our Purple Heart recipients made in defending our freedoms and believes it is important that we acknowledge them for their courage and show them the honor and support they have earned.”
Kelley added that 775 veterans have used his office in 2013.
A full look at the board’s January 6 actions will be in a future edition.
The proclamation continues that “the Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in present use and was initially created as the Badge of Military Merit by General George Washington in 1872.” It also states that “the Purple Heart was the first American service award or decoration made available to the common soldier and is specifically awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who have been wounded or killed in combat with a declared enemy of the United States of America.”