Many Americans may be familiar with the term “purple heart”, however, few know the history behind and significance of this prestigious award or the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
What is a Purple Heart in the military? A Purple Heart is a distinguished United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to members of the armed forces who have been wounded or killed during combat on or after April 15, 1917. Posthumously, it is awarded to the next of kin. The Purple Heart is the oldest military awarded still given to service members, with the obsolete Fidelity Medallion being the only earlier award.
Congressionally chartered by the United States Congress in 1958, the Military Order of the Purple Heart is a war veterans organization headquartered just out side of the nation’s capitol. The organization has approximately 45,300 men and women veteran soldiers, all of which are recipients of the Purple Heart Award.
While the Military Order of the Purple Heart is comprised only of veterans who have received a Purple Heart Award, they are one of many organizations that help military families and all service members and veterans, regardless of whether they received a Purple Heart or not.
There are several ways in which civilians can show their appreciation and support for military families and veterans. While there are a variety of charitable donations that help military families and veterans, clothing donations are of particular importance, especially as the winter months are rapidly approaching.
Donating clothing to charity is not only beneficial to those in need, it is also great for the environment, which is a cause many Americans also feel strongly about. As we become more aware of environmentally friendly practices, Americans have been successful in reducing the amount of household waste produced. In fact, nearly 99% of clothing that is thrown away can be reused or recycled. Textile waste makes up nearly 5% of waste found in landfills. Recycling clothing reduces landfill waste as well as pollution to the environment.
With today’s hectic schedules, many people have difficulty finding time to sit down and eat dinner, let alone donate clothes. Luckily however, there are several organizations that pick up donations right from the comfort of the donor’s home, making helping military families and veterans easier than ever before.
Whether you donate clothing, non-perishable food items, money, or even your time, know that each contribution, no matter how seemingly small, is making a big difference in the lives of military families and veterans.