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Veterans Share What It Means to Be Awarded a Purple Heart


Purple Heart Day (Aug. 7) commemorates the brave men and women who have been wounded or killed as a result of enemy action during their military service. To honor these veterans, many people across the nation pause to recognize the sacrifices made for our freedom. The purple color of the award represents the courage of those who gave so much. About 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded.

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) asked some of the warriors it serves what having a Purple Heart means to them.


For some, it’s a reminder of what happened in battle:


Having a Purple Heart is a tangible reminder of what happened in Iraq. It's a reminder that you don't necessarily come back in the same condition that you left.--Andrew Harriman, U.S. Army


The Purple Heart award for me brings thoughts of all those wounded or slain in this nation’s history in battle. I am honored and humbled to share the same medal as others who answered America’s call of duty. --Brent Whitten, U.S. Army


Having a Purple Heart means that I was stronger than what was meant to take me out.  It means that by no means did I run from danger or uncertainty, but instead faced my enemy head on! --Mike Matthews, U.S. Army


Read what other veterans say about receiving a Purple Heart award in this month's edition of Homeland magazine

About Wounded Warrior Project

Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more at



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