What Is The Purple Heart?
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The Purple Heart Medal

The Purple Heart is an American decoration - the oldest military decoration in the World in present use, and the first American award made available to the common soldier. It was initially created as a Badge of Military Merit by one of the world's most famed and best-loved heroes - General George Washington.

The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die or wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration.

An organization now known as "The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH)", was formed in 1952 for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the decoration. Composed exclusively of Purple Heart recipients, it is the only veterans' service organization comprised strictly of "combat" veterans.


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