• County Commissioners, members of the Graham VFW Memorial Post 8567 and members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart stand with a sign that will be placed at one entrance of Young County declaring the county as a Purple Heart County. In back from l-r are Pct. 1 Commissioner Mike Sipes, Young County Judge John Bullock, Pct. 2 Commissioner Matt Pruitt, Pct. 3 Commissioner Stacey Rogers, Pct. 4 Commissioner Jimmy Wiley, Graham VFW Post 8567 member Richard Davis and MOPH Chapter 1513 Commander Gus Wittschack. In front are VFW Post 8567 Commander Linda Mueggenborg (left) and MOPH State Senior Vice Commander Jon Lunkwicz. (Leader photo by Thomas Wallner)

Young County recognizes Purple Heart veterans

Young County has joined Graham to be recognized as a Purple Heart County under the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), and honor those who have been injured or killed risking their lives for the country.

Young County commissioners approved the proclamation Monday and were joined by MOPH State Senior Vice Commander and Chapter President Jon Lunkwicz and MOPH Chapter 1513 Commander Gus Wittschack at the meeting.

The MOPH is located in Springfield, Va., and is a nationwide organization with chapters in Guam to Puerto Rico. The order includes 46,000 members in six regions with 49 state departments and 478 chapters.

During the meeting Monday the commissioners unanimously approved the request and Lunkwicz thanked Young County Judge John Bullock, commissioners court, Graham VFW Memorial Post 8567, the citizens of Young County and all veterans who have served the country.

“When the county of Young is recognized we are remembering and honoring all Purple Heart recipients living or dead, we are honoring all veterans living in the county that have served in the military, we are taking a moment to honor George Washington and his significant contribution to our country and we are using this moment to educate all county citizens of the sacrifices of your veterans and remind them to thank them for their service,” Lunkwicz said.

The Purple Heart medal is awarded to members of the armed forces who are wounded by an instrument of war by the hands of the enemy or to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action.

History of the Purple Heart

The Purple Heart is a combat decoration media and one of the nation’s oldest military decorations. It was created by George Washington in 1782 and was then known as the Badge of Military Merit. It was first awarded to three soldiers in Newburgh, New York.

The Purple Heart as it is today was developed by General Douglas MacArthur in 1932. The Badge of Military Merit was made of cloth originally and the Purple Heart medal was newly created by Elisabeth Will who was an Army heraldic specialist in the Office of the Quartermaster General.

The new design was metal, instead of cloth and was made in the shape of purple heart bordered with gold and featuring a engraving of Washington in the center with his coat-of-arms at the top.

Military Order of the Purple Heart

The MOPH is a national organization that was established in 1782 and receives most of their funding through restricted and unrestricted grants, but also from fundraising events.

Under the MOPH is the Purple Heart Trail, which was established in 1992 to create a symbolic and honorary system of roads, highway, bridges, monuments, cities and counties that give tribute to the men and women who received the Purple Heart medal.

The MOPH organization provides National Service Officers and support staff to provide assistance to over 124,844 veterans to help them obtain their benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The organization also provides legal options and representation for veterans before the Board of Veterans Appeals and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Along with their national service programs the organization has Veteran Affairs Voluntary Services which help provide health services and provide grants for everyday items for veterans. The program also offers jobs for veterans and awards scholarships for Purple Heart recipients, their spouses and to the children and grandchildren of MOPH members.

The Graham Leader

620 Oak Street
P.O. Box 600
Graham, Texas 76450
Phone: (940) 549-7800
Fax: (940) 549-4364