The Texas Veterans Land Board today salutes all members of the military who have earned the right to wear a Purple Heart medal. This award is the oldest medal to still be awarded to members of the United States military who have been wounded or killed during their service. The bravery the wearers exhibit is reflected in the gratitude of their country.
The precursor to the modern Purple Heart military award was created by General George Washington on August 7, 1782, just before the end of the Revolutionary War. This original award — called the Badge of Military Merit — was only awarded three times by Washington himself, and then fell into disuse. That badge looked like a heart, made of purple cloth, which created the colloquial name we now call 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 began to be awarded to brave men who had returned, and some who had not. It is a heart medallion, with a bust of Washington on a purple field, suspended from a purple ribbon.
There have been over 1.8 million Purple Hearts awarded since 1917. That’s a lot of injuries or deaths. Military members can receive more than one, obviously, but it should still 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, have personalized Purple Heart license plates, receive medical priority upgrades at the Veterans Administration, and receive 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 qualify for property tax exemptions, based on the percentage of their disability.
The Veterans Land Board offers our thanks, the thanks of a grateful state of Texas, and the grateful 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 proud of you and the heart of service you offer to America.
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. These benefits, the most robust in the nation, include:
— Home Loans
— Home Improvement Loans
— Land Loans
— Veterans Homes
— Veterans Cemeteries