Celebrating National Purple Heart Day and those who serve

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – Tuesday is National Purple Heart Day in the United States.

MOUNT VERNON, VA – JUNE 09: A Purple Heart medal is seen during a Purple Heart ceremony June 9, 2015 at George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Virginia. The U.S. Army held celebration for its 240th birthday. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

With Hampton Roads being a hub for military activity and veterans, we at News 3 thought it would be a great opportunity to share some information about the medal that has been given to both national and local heroes.

History of the Purple Heart: 

According to the Purple Heart Foundation, the Purple Heart has a noble and rich heritage.

The Purple Heart is known to be the oldest award still given to combat-wounded veterans of the U.S. military.

The Purple Heart was established by George Washington, the first president of the United States, in 1782 and reportedly was given as a merit badge before it became a medal.

The Purple Heart has been awarded nearly two million times to military members and veterans who were wounded in combat.

Military members past and present also have the opportunity to be a part of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, a congressionally chartered veterans’ organization whose members have been awarded the Purple Heart medal.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart provides opportunities for engagement, camaraderie and support among Purple Heart recipients. The organization also has programs that aid all veterans, according to the Purple Heart Foundation.

To learn more information about the Purple Heart and about the Purple Heart Foundation, click here.