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Board of Supervisors proclaims Lincoln a Purple Heart County

Lincoln County will soon become a dot on the Purple Heart Trail.

At a Veterans Day lunch Saturday at Lincoln Civic Center, Sen. Sally Doty, R-Brookhaven, announced that Lincoln County would soon be recognized by the National Order of The Purple Heart and gave proclamations to the 10 medal recipients in attendance.

Doty, along with Brookhaven state representatives Becky Currie and Vince Mangold, wants to create a list of Purple Heart recipients.

“There is a special day set aside in August to honor Purple Heart recipients and a list would allow us to contact recipients and celebrate that day in some way as well,” Doty said.

Hundreds attended the Veterans Day lunch, which is hosted by several volunteers who raise funds and plan to make the event special for area veterans.

Each year, a special group of veterans are honored. That honor went to the Purple Heart recipients.

“Our planning committee thought the unique sacrifices of this group deserved special attention,” Doty said.

The Purple Heart is specifically a combat decoration and it is the nation’s oldest military medal. According to purpleheart.org, the medal is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S “who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. The heritage it represents is sacred to those who understand the price paid to wear it.”

The trail is a symbolic and honorary system of roads, highways and bridges that pay tribute to those who have received the Purple Heart.

Signs are placed at various locations to designate these areas and the spots are identified on the website. There are currently designated sections in 45 states as well as Guam.

“The designation serves as a reminder to our citizens of the sacrifices of our veterans, and shows visitors that our community supports our veterans and Purple Heart recipients,” Doty said.

The Brookhaven Tourism Council approved funding of $1,000 to provide signage to publicize the designation, she said.

“I think it would be great for our city and county to have that designation,” Mangold said. “It would be another way to show respect and our gratitude to our veterans.”

Becky Currie’s father received a Purple Heart medal for his wartime wounds in Korea.

“He never talked about it and died along time ago when I️ was in my early 20s,” she said.

Currie regrets not asking him about his combat.

“I should have asked him about his service. How I️ would love to sit down with him now and ask about his injuries and what he went through,” she said. “We recognized many that had earned the Purple Heart on Veterans Day at the civic center and I would love to hear all of their stories now. Can you imagine being so far away from home and getting hurt on a battle field fighting for our country?”

Currie said their stories need to be told while they’re still here.

Doty urges any veteran not already listed with her office to call 601-833-2711 to be added so they can receive invitations to veterans’ events in the county. Those who are Purple Heart recipients should mention that designation.