Ohio is known as the “Buckeye State.”
Now, we can also call it a “Purple Heart State.”
On Dec. 20, Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 459 into law, which gives our state a sigificant distinction.
The bill states, “Ohio is to be declared to be a ‘Purple Heart State’, honoring our combat wounded veterans for their service and sacrifice in allowing the United States of America to maintain its sovereignty. Ohio is declared to be the first ‘Purple Heart State’ in the United States of America.”
The state association of the Military Order of the Purple Heart says “(a)ll of Ohio’s Purple Heart Chapters are honored by this distinction and special designation. Ohio’s becoming the first ‘Purple Heart State’ is an honor for every person who has ever served in our military, and an honor for every relative of those who served.”
“By naming Ohio the first ‘Purple Heart State’ in the nation, Ohio (and many other similarly named counties, cities, and towns in Ohio by proclamation) is recognizing the importance to not forget the veterans who have sacrificed for their nation.”
The Military Order of the Purple Heart and the Ladies Auxiliary organizations hope with increased recognition of the combat wounded veterans and those who love them, that veterans organizations will encourage Purple Heart members to become more involved in their communities in and around Ohio. “The desire of the MOPH/LAMOPH is to serve and provide for the future generations of American Patriots.”
Dave Bauer, commander of the local Purple Heart Chapter, says the designation has “been a long time comin’. Ohio got on the ball, and they followed through with it.”
He believes the designation is “very important because it helps get the word out about what the Purple Heart represents, and it opens up more doors for the recipients.”
He hopes all states will make the designation.
Bauer also points out Chapter 620 members remain very active in the community throughout the year, including taking part in various festivals, parades and other events.
Their efforts led last year to the erection of “Purple Heart Way” signs and banners on Fountain Avenue in Springfield and a War Dog Memorial at nearby Veterans Park.
The group meets at 3:30 p.m. on the third Thursday at VFW Rocco-Welch Post 8673, 2825 East Leffel Lane in Springfield.
Contact me at Darryl.Bauer@cmgohio.com or 328-0341.