NY, New Windsor - National Purple Heart Hall of Honor
May 14, 2008
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The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor commemorates the extraordinary sacrifices of America's servicemen and servicewomen who were killed or wounded in combat. The mission of the Hall of Honor is to collect and preserve the stories of Purple Heart recipients from all branches of service and across generations to ensure that all recipients are represented.
Sad to say that our government does not have a master list or database of Winners of The Purple Heart. I had heard about this some time ago when I was doing research for my Marine Corps Platoon.
Sure does make me mad that our government treats folks this way. You got shot in your ass and nobody knows about it unless you can prove it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register a Purple Heart Recipient?
With your help we are building a registry of Purple Heart recipients from all branches of service, all wars for which the Purple Heart was awarded, and from all across the nation. In order to verify receipt of the medal we request documentation. This can include a variety of materials including the DD-214 or other discharge form listing awards, medical forms, a photograph of the back of the medal bearing the recipient's name, or other supporting materials. We are also looking for photographs, telegrams, letters home, news articles or other materials that help put a face and a story with each recipient's name. Please complete the enrollment form and return to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor with proper documentation.
How do I obtain DD-214 or other discharge papers?
To obtain a copy of the necessary documentation, please contact the National Records Center at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html. If you are not a veteran or the next of kin, you must complete the standard Form 180 (SF180). This form is available at http://www.archives.gov/research/order/standard-form-180.pdf on the National Archvies and Records Administration (NARA) website.
How many Purple Hearts have been awarded?
We can guess at the exact number because no consistent record was kept since the award was established in 1932, and we estimate the number at 1.7 million. The award was first retroactive to those who received "wound chevrons" and "certificates of merit" during World War I and to those from earlier wars who chose to apply for the award. From 1942 on it was limited to service men and women wounded or killed in combat against the enemy. Records were sometimes lost during wartime when headquarters were overrun and unfortunately many were lost during a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in 1973.
Where is the National Purple Heart located?
The New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site in New York's Hudson River Valley is the setting for the Hall of Honor. Just sixty miles north of Manhattan and ten miles north of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the cantonment was an extensive military post housing some 7,500 soldiers and 500 civilian dependents in the closing years of the Revolutionary War. Officers met here in a chapel and meeting hall called the "Temple of Virtue" to review candidates for the Badge of Military Merit, the inspiration for today’s Purple Heart. In 1932, 138 veterans of World War I received some of the nation’s first Purple Hearts on Temple Hill near the site of the "Temple of Virtue."