Friday, August 03, 2007

Colin Powell to attend Purple Heart Stamp dedication ceremony

General Colin L. Powell, US Army (Retired) is scheduled to participate in a dedication ceremony for the 41-cent Purple Heart stamp on Aug. 7 at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

According to a USPS press release, "Two soldiers will receive the Purple Heart medal during the ceremony."

The stamp image features a photograph by Ira Wexler of one of two Purple Hearts awarded to James Loftus Fowler of Alexandria, Virginia. Fowler was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marines and was serving as battalion commander of the Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, when he received this Purple Heart in 1968 following action close to the Ben Hai River on the border between North and South Vietnam.

This is the third issue of the Purple Heart definitive postage stamp. The Purple Heart stamp was first issued on May 30, 2003 and was reissued May 26, 2006.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Purple Heart medal.

It is also the 225th anniversary of the Badge of Military Merit, the predecessor to the Purple Heart medal, which was established and awarded by General George Washington on Aug. 7, 1782.

The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded in combat or to the next of kin of those killed in action.

According to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization for combat-wounded veterans, the medal is “the oldest military decoration in the world in present use and the first award made available to the common soldier.”

For more on the Purple Heart, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM