(Washington, D.C.) – Vietnam Veterans of America has received reports of
delegates at the Republican National Convention disseminating and wearing
"Purple Heart" band-aids in mockery of one of nation’s most distinctive
honors, the Purple Heart medal.
The Purple Heart is one of the oldest military awards, first introduced in
1782 by Gen. George Washington to honor the service and sacrifice of the
common soldier and recognize the spirit of volunteerism and selfless
dedication. It was reinstated in 1932. The Purple Heart is awarded to
members of the armed forces who are wounded by the enemy.
The spirit of the award recognizes the personal sacrifice of our troops
without regard to the severity or nature of the wound. It is the wounding
itself that merits the honor. To demean the decoration and the sacrifice it
symbolizes demeans all veterans and the patriots who honor them.
With our nation’s sons and daughters at war to protect global freedom,
demeaning military service in this way is especially hurtful. Vietnam
Veterans of America urges all Americans to decry this type of outrageous,
disrespectful, and infantile behavior.