Sunday, August 7, 2011
This group of combat veterans have one thing in common, they are all recipients of a Purple Heart.
"It puts me in a class of pretty good people," said Warren Lewis, World War II Purple Heart recipient. "All these patriots here, we all have something in common."
Many in the group said the Purple Heart was an award they could do without.
"I wish that I had never received the award because then I wouldn't have ever been injured. But it is an honor to have received the award," said Daniel Shields, Iraq War Purple Heart recipient.
Shields remembered the night he was attacked. He was with two other soldiers when an IED wounded them in Iraq.
"I didn't even know, at first, that I was injured. I guess that's that adrenaline rush that they talk about," said Shields.
He said recollecting that rush sent chills through him.
"It kind of hangs heavy on the heart just talking about it," said Shields.
The Purple Heart award is the oldest military decoration in America. It was established in 1782 by the man whose face appears in the center of the medal, General George Washington.
"The Purple Heart's a medal that nobody wants. When you get it, you're kind of glad you got it. You didn't have to give the ultimate sacrifice to get it," said Tom Creel, Vietnam War Purple Heart recipient.
The group hopes Purple Heart recipients will join them every year on August 7th to observe National Purple Heart Day.