FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — On Monday, we will acknowledge the courageous actions taken by nearly two million service members, who bear physical and non-physical reminders of their sacrifices. We recognize their valiant actions by observing National Purple Heart Day.
The Purple Heart was originally introduced on Aug. 7, 1782, by Gen. George Washington, as the Badge of Merit, which was awarded to three Soldiers for their acts of heroism during the American Revolutionary War. 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 World War I. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Douglas MacArthur was the first Soldier to receive the award upon its revival for his actions in World War I.
To date, 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded to service members across our armed forces. Purple Heart recipients can be found within our Fort Leonard Wood community, including veterans, retirees, and uniformed service members, who continue to serve. We are very grateful for our Purple Heart recipients. We are proud of their service, sacrifice and continued support to our community and our great nation.
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