Press Release

August 31, 2004

No. 04-042

Mokie Porter

(301) 585-4000 Ext. 146
(301) 996-0901

"Purple Heart" Band-aids a Mockery of service
A Statement from Thomas H. Corey, National President, Vietnam Veterans of America

(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.


Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

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