Purple Heart Day
The Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) salutes all those Military Members who have earned the right to wear the Purple Heart medal. This award is the oldest medal to be awarded to Members of the United States Military who are wounded or killed during their service. The bravery the wearers exhibit is reflected by the gratitude of their country.
The origin of the modern Purple Heart military award was General George Washington, who created the Badge of Military Merit on August 7, 1782, just before the end of the Revolutionary War. This badge was only given to three men and then fell into disuse, but it looked like a heart made of purple cloth, which is why our medal today is known as the Purple Heart.
After World War I, there was a push to honor the Doughboys who were wounded or killed in Europe, and so the Badge of Military Merit became the Purple Heart and was awarded to some brave men who had returned, and some who could not. It looks like a heart medallion with a bust of Washington on a purple field, suspended from a purple ribbon.
Over 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded since 1917. Military members can receive more than one since they can be injured multiple times in the same and different conflicts, obviously, but that large number should put their selfless service into perspective.
There are special benefits for those who have received a Purple Heart. In Texas, they can belong to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, can have personalized Purple Heart license plates, can receive medical priority upgrades at the Veterans Administration, and preferential government hiring status. Recipients and their families can also benefit from the Forever GI Bill, which entitles them to 100% benefits for 36 months, making three years of college completely free. Purple Heart recipients who are disabled veterans can also qualify for property tax exemptions, based on the percentage of their disability.
Some Texas cities have the designation of being on the nation-wide “Purple Heart Trail.” The Purple Heart Trail creates a visual reminder to those who use the road system that “others have paid a high price for their freedom to travel and live in a free society.” Signs placed at various locations designate those roads and highways where legislation has been passed to include them as part of the Trail. The actual format and design of the signs vary from state to state. There are currently designated sections in 45 states as well as Guam. In Texas, showcasing the strong love for the Armed Forces here, there are 58 counties and over 80 cities that have passed legislation to designate themselves as part of the Purple Heart Trail.
The VLB offers our thanks, the gratitude of the state of Texas, and the proud heart of a nation, to our members who proudly wear a Purple Heart or have one given to them for their loved one’s greatest sacrifice. We are honored by you and the heart of service you offer to America.
The Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) is happy to provide any needed help for these American heroes. The mission for the VLB is “to ensure that we offer the very best package of Veterans benefits in the country and those of us who work for the VLB strive to meet those goals every day. For more than 70 years, we have had the honor to serve Veterans, Military Members and their families in Texas, and we look forward to keeping that promise in the years to come.” Call 1–800–252–8387, email VLBinfo@glo.texas.gov, or visit vlb.texas.gov to see the different benefits available.
If you are a Veteran, thank you for your service. Click Here to Sign Up to stay informed on your benefits with the Texas Veterans Land Board.