(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — On Aug. 7, we commemorate Purple Heart Day, when we salute the bravery and service of the nearly two million men and women who bear the physical and non-physical scars of war.

The Purple Heart was first created by Gen. George Washington on Aug. 7, 1782, and was originally known as the Badge of Merit. Following the American Revolution, the Purple Heart was not awarded again until 1932, when the armed forces began to award the Purple Heart to those who were wounded or killed by enemy actions on or after April 5, 1917, the day before the United States officially joined War World I.

On the front of the Purple Heart is the profile of George Washington; the words “for military merit” are inscribed on the back. The medal is in the shape of a heart, purple in color with a gold border. Above the heart is the coat of arms of George Washington, a white shield with two red bars and three red stars. The medal is attached with purple silk and a silver border. The medal is based off Gen. Washington’s original design of a “heart in purple cloth, or silk, edged with a narrow lace or binding.”

Purple Heart recipients can be found in our installation’s civilian, veteran and retiree populations, as well as among our service members still in uniform today. We are very proud of our Purple Heart recipients for their service to our nation and their contributions to our community.

Victory Starts Here — Victory Through Skill!