Foley named Purple Heart Community

By Jessica Vaughn / jessica@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 2/21/18

FOLEY – During the Feb. 19 Foley council, Mayor John Koniar proclaimed the city to be a Purple Heart Community.

“Many citizens of our community have earned the Purple Heart Medal as a result …

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Foley named Purple Heart Community

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FOLEY – During the Feb. 19 Foley council, Mayor John Koniar proclaimed the city to be a Purple Heart Community.

“Many citizens of our community have earned the Purple Heart Medal as a result of being wounded while engaged in combat with an enemy force, construed as a singularly meritorious act of essential service,” said Koniar. “I hereby proclaim the City of Foley as a Purple Heart City honoring the services and sacrifice of our nation’s men and women in uniform wounded or killed by enemy forces while serving to protect the freedoms enjoyed by all Americans.”

The honor was brought forth to the city after local dentist and Vietnam veteran Barry Booth learned of Purple Heart Communities while visiting a friend.

“We both had served at Khe Sanh; he had been wounded,” said Booth. “While out driving around his town, he pointed out the very distinctive Purple Heart signs located at the city hall complex and around his town. I thought what a great idea this would be for the communities of Baldwin County and South Alabama.”

Booth reached out to Ed Evans of the local Military Order of the Purple Heart, telling him about the Purple Heart Communities and beginning the movement to declare Baldwin County municipalities as Purple Heart towns and cities.

“The Military Order of the Purple Heart is a congressionally chartered veterans’ organization whose members have received the Purple Heart Medal, given in the name of the president of the United States, to any member of our armed forces who have been wounded or lost under combat conditions,” said Booth. “While clearly this is an individual decoration, the Purple Heart differs from all other military awards. An individual is not recommended for a Purple Heart, they are entitled to it upon meeting certain criteria.”

While Booth stated he was not a recipient, he supports the distinguished order that delivers programs that include: suicide prevention, assistance for veterans with brain injuries, counseling for post-traumatic stress, and assistance for women’s health issues. These services are offered to aide all veterans and their families and continue to make many significant contributions to our communities.

To be designated as a Purple Heart City is to raise awareness and to honor those who are recipients of the Purple Heart, and Foley took the step during the council to do just that.

“I hope that each of you at some time can take a moment to speak to a Purple Heart recipient,” said Booth. “Their experience is nothing like you can imagine, or read, or see in movies. These men and women have put themselves in harm’s way and have offered up their life in service to the rest of us and our nation. Our gratitude to each of them is inseparable.”

The City of Foley has received Purple Heart signs to designate the city as a Purple Heart Community, which will be going up around the city soon.