National Purple Heart Day, observed on Aug. 7 each year, is a day to remember and honor those wounded or killed while serving in the military.
The Creekside, an assisted living facility in Woodinville, honored the day by unveiling its new Wall of Honor. The wall recognizes 16 veterans who received Purple Heart awards for their service and sacrifices during combat.
An estimated 1.8 Purple Heart medals have been awarded to service members since the award was established in 1932, according to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. Records haven't been consistently kept and some were lost during wartime, and many Army and Army Air Force records were lost in a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in 1973, the Purple Heart Hall of Honor website states. Service members may be enrolled in the database of recipients online at thepurpleheart.com.
“Our lives would be much different without you,” Creekside Executive Director Carl Meyer said at the Aug. 7 event. “We honor our veterans for the sacrifices that they make, but do we really understand what that means?”
Many of these recipients were 18 years old when they first joined the service, Meyer said. For many, he added, it wasn’t by choice but a result of being drafted. Soldiers were asked to leave behind families and relationships, he said, and many things were different when they returned home.
“You were boys. You came back men,” he said. “…This wall is for you, and for everything that you have done.”
Wall of Honor recipients:
• U.S. Navy: Henry Chiles, Michael Browning, Tom O’Hare, Terry Buckles,
• U.S. Army: Paul Risinger, Leon (Chappy) Chapman, Doug Boyce,
• U.S. Coast Guard: Brad Grunwald
• U.S. Air Force: Bill Davis, Terry Evans, Michael Terrado, Clark Crouch,
• U.S. Marine Corps: Peter Byrnes, Richard Varney,
• Royal Canadian Army: Donald Weeks, Charles Fountain.