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Chillicothe Declares Purple Heart City Recognition Day
By Catherine Stortz Ripley, C-T 04/12/17

Chillicothe City Council members adopted a resolution Monday evening, April 10, 2017, declaring Chillicothe as a Purple Heart City and proclaimed April 10, 2017, as Purple Heart City Recognition Day in Chillicothe. John D. Dismer, adjutant of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and Gunnery Sgt. Bryce F. Lockwood, attended Monday night's meeting of the city council and presented Mayor Chuck Haney with a plaque recognizing the city as a Purple Heart City, honoring those who have received the Purple Heart Medal as a result of being wounded while engaged in combat with an enemy force, construed as a singularly meritorious act of essential service.

Several local and area veterans attended the council meeting in support of local Purple Heart Medal recipients. Two veterans who had received the Purple Heart - Leo Halverson and Jeff Sanchez - were also present at the meeting. Both are military veterans of the Vietnam War. Halverson received multiple Purple Heart Medals and also is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and Bronze Star. Sanchez is a three-time recipient of the Purple Heart Medal.

C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripely

The resolution states that the city "has a great admiration and the utmost gratitude for all of the men and women who have selflessly served their country in the Armed Forces, and that veterans have paid the high price for freedom by leaving their families and communities and have placed themselves in harm's way for the betterment of the nation." The resolution also states that the contributions and sacrifices of the men and women who served in the Armed Forces have been vital in maintaining the freedoms and way of life enjoyed by the citizens of Chillicothe, and that many men and women in uniform have given their lives while serving in the Armed Forces. Lockwood, the only Marine survivor of the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967, provided a brief history of the Purple Heart. The Military Order of the Purple Heart is the only service organization comprised entirely of combat wounded veterans. The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the Armed Forces 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 MOPH was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the decoration. Today, it serves all veterans. MOPH has professional national service officers across America who help veterans file benefit claims and appeals free of charge.

CAPTION: Chillicothe and area veterans attended Monday night's meeting of the City Council when special recognition was given to local veterans who had been awarded the Purple Heart Medal and when the city adopted a resolution declaring Chillicothe a Purple Heart City and proclaiming April 10, 2017, as Purple Heart City Recognition Day in Chillicothe. Front, from left: Gunnery Sgt. Bryce F. Lockwood (Military Order of the Purple Heart representative), Leo Halverson and Jeff Sanchez, both of Chillicothe who are Purple Heart Medal recipients; and John Dismer (MOPH representative). Back, from left: veterans Melvin Littrell, Jim Summerville, Ed Allender, Larry Warren, Howard Marshall and Don Ware.

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