Event scheduled at Gallman fairgrounds

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Among visitors for Saturday’s Memorial Day events at theMilitary Memorial Museum in the old downtown train depot was JanetSullivan, president of the Ladies Auxiliary Military Order of thePurple Heart Region 4.

Sullivan was at the event Saturday to invite area veterans to aspecial Memorial Day event Monday at the fairgrounds in Gallman.She said the 2 p.m. event will be held rain or shine in the brickbuilding at the fairgrounds. JROTC members will be there foldingflags in honor of several Purple Heart recipients, she said.

The Purple Heart Medal is the oldest military decoration in theworld still in use and the first American award made available tothe common soldier, according to its Web site. It was initiallycreated as the Badge of Military Merit by then-Gen. GeorgeWashington.

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The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the Armed forceswounded at the hands of the enemy. The medal can also be awardedposthumously to a soldier’s next of kin.

Sullivan, of Crystal Springs, said she looks forward to theBrookhaven event year after year. Sullivan’s husband is a PurpleHeart recipient.

Several recipients of the medal were on hand to ride together inSaturday’s Veterans Parade.

Sullivan said she is currently in the process of puttingtogether a Purple Heart chapter in the area and is looking foradditional Purple Heart recipients.

The organization, known as the Military Order of the PurpleHeart, was formed in 1932 for those who have received thedecoration. Composed exclusively of Purple Heart recipients, it isthe only veterans service organization that strictly comprisescombat veterans.

Sullivan said she is always on the lookout for Purple Heartlicense plates. When she sees one, she always leaves a card on thewindshield thanking the person for their service to our country,along with her phone number asking them to call.

Sullivan said veterans hold a special place in her heart and shegoes out of her way to help all that she can.

“They’re my heartbeat,” Sullivan said of the veterans.

“Be sure to thank a veteran for serving our country,” she added.”It means so much to them.”

Purple Heart Medal recipients who would like to receive moreinformation about the chapter Sullivan is putting together may callher at (601) 892-3384.