Purple Heart

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Vet Fakes War Injuries to Get Purple Heart, $752K in Benefits

Darryl Wright said he needed full-time caregiver despite having full-time job

(Newser) - Federal prosecutors say a former soldier who lied his way to a Purple Heart by faking injuries from the Iraq war cheated Washington state and the federal government out of more than $750,000, the AP reports. Darryl Wright, a former Idaho National Guardsman, appeared for sentencing Thursday in US... More »

Each Thought the Other Died in War. 47 Years Later, a Miracle

Herman Johnson and Fred Rivera reunited, and much more

(Newser) - Fred Rivera believed his best friend, Herman Johnson, died in his arms after a rocket hit them during a Vietnam War firefight in 1969. "Surviving comrades of that horrid day presented me a bracelet fashioned from the leather laces of Herman’s boots," Rivera writes of what followed... More »

Surprise $4.99 Find in Goodwill Bin: a Purple Heart

Ariz. woman's post seeking its owner goes viral

(Newser) - Laura Hardy says she and her husband were browsing in their local Goodwill in Mesa, Ariz., over the weekend when her husband spotted something unusual in the jewelry section: a Purple Heart medal with the name Eual H. Whiteman on it. "It was just classified as purple jewelry for... More »

Fort Hood Victims to Get Purple Hearts

Military does about-face on decision

(Newser) - The victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting that left 13 dead and more than 30 wounded will receive the Purple Hearts many have said they deserve. The Army said in a letter addressed to Congress today that the circumstances of the mass shooting meet the criteria for the award.... More »

WWII Vet Gets Purple Heart 70 Years Later

Plus, it was a surprise for Fred Zurbuchen

(Newser) - A World War II veteran was finally awarded a Purple Heart this week after earning it 70 years ago. When he was just 17, Fred Zurbuchen of Wisconsin enlisted and became a B-17 gunner in the Air Force. He got injured on his 10th mission, but fire destroyed his paperwork,... More »

'Slender Man' Victim Gets Purple Heart Medal in Mail

Anonymous donor sends it to Wisconsin girl who was stabbed

(Newser) - Since her release from the hospital in June, the 12-year-old girl from Wisconsin who was stabbed 19 times (allegedly by two friends) in a “Slender Man”-inspired attack has received gifts and cards from all over the world—many of them made out of purple hearts, the girl’s... More »

Man Saves Neighbor— on Way to Get War Honor

James Yates rescues woman from pinned car before ceremony at football game

(Newser) - Army reservist James Yates served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and received a Purple Heart when a roadside bomb damaged his spinal cord. He got some public recognition for his service last weekend from the crowd before an arena football game in Des Moines, and KCCI reports that he would... More »

Purple Heart at Flea Market Leads to Quest for Owner

Matt Carlson guides medal from Arizona to Oklahoma

(Newser) - A Vietnam veteran was at a flea market in Glendale, Ariz., early this year when he noticed an unusual item for sale: a Purple Heart medal, going for $40. Matt Carlson knew what he had to do. "If I lost something like that, I would want my family to... More »

Wounded Soldier's Salute Goes Viral

Josh Hargis managed it from hospital bed while getting Purple Heart

(Newser) - They're calling it the "salute seen around the world," reports Cincinnati.com . Injured Army Ranger Josh Hargis delivered it from a hospital bed in Afghanistan after being severely wounded in a suicide bombing earlier this month. The salute came while the Cincinnati native was being awarded a... More »

Woman to Get 70-Year-Old Letter From Dad She Never Met

Peggy Smith to receive her father's purple heart, and a letter sending his love

(Newser) - John Eddington was about to deploy to Europe during World War II when he got some happy news: His wife had given birth to a baby girl. In a letter to his daughter, he wrote how much he loved her and hoped to see her, though he'd never get... More »

No Purple Hearts for Fort Hood Victims: Pentagon

Texas Rep. John Carter calls decision 'dead wrong'

(Newser) - A Texas lawmaker's attempt to make victims of the Fort Hood shooting eligible for purple hearts has fallen on deaf ears at the Pentagon, ABC News reports. Awarding them purple hearts could "irrevocably alter the fundamental character of this time-honored decoration" and "undermine the prosecution of Major... More »

New Drone Medal's Rank 'Degrading', Say Veterans

Award for remote control operators outranks combat medals like Bronze Star

(Newser) - The Pentagon's new medal for drone operators has sparked a backlash from veterans whose medals were earned on the battlefield but are ranked lower than the Distinguished Warfare Medal, the Military Times reports. The new medal is higher in the military's "order of precedence" than the Bronze... More »

Decorated Soldier Shot, Paralyzed at Welcome Party

Christopher Sullivan had survived Afghanistan suicide bombing, won Purple Heart

(Newser) - A Purple Heart recipient who survived a suicide bombing last year in Afghanistan came home for the holidays—only to be paralyzed in a shooting at his own welcome-home party, reports KTLA . Christopher Sullivan, 22, was shot late Friday in San Bernardino after a fight broke out over football, and... More »

Purple Heart Ornaments Sent to Dead Marines

Corps apologizes for Christmas mix-up

(Newser) - The Marine Corps has apologized for accidentally sending Purple Heart Christmas ornaments to 1,150 dead Marines and sailors. The thank-you packages, which also contained a letter to the Marine and information on a physical reconditioning program, were intended for living Purple Heart recipients, Stars and Stripes reports. The Marines... More »

Soldiers With Concussions Denied Purple Hearts

Army seems to ignore its own rules

(Newser) - Army rules couldn't be clearer: The list of wounds that justify the Purple Heart includes "concussion injuries caused as a result of enemy generated explosions." The real world is a little murkier. An investigation by Pro Publica and NPR finds that the Army routinely denies the award to... More »

Fake Marine Busted After Reunion

Banker shows off chestful of medals to old classmates

(Newser) - A man who'd been a nerdy, unathletic band member at his California high school shocked classmates recently by turning up at his 20th reunion as a highly decorated Marine. Classmates were duly impressed by Steve Burton's transformation, but one, now a Navy commander, was so stunned by Burton's chestful of... More »

Pentagon Nixes Purple Heart for Mental Wounds

Post-traumatic stress is not a wound, officials declare

(Newser) - US troops who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder from their tours in Iraq and Afghanistan will not receive the purple heart given to soldiers wounded in combat, reports CNN. The Pentagon announcement came after weeks of review. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 11% of Iraq veterans and 20% of those... More »

Debate Swirls Over Purple Heart for PTSD

Proponents say honor would reduce stigma; medal devalued, foes counter

(Newser) - Members of the US military are debating whether Purple Heart medals should go to troops with post-traumatic stress disorder, the Military Times reports. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said, "It’s clearly something that needs to be looked at,” but foes argue it would devalue the honor for... More »

Medal of Honor for Sioux Warrior

Posthumous award first for Sioux

(Newser) - The first full-blooded Sioux to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor was awarded his medal 26 years after his death at a moving ceremony at the White House yesterday, reports CNN. President Bush presented the medal to family members of Army Master Sgt. Woodrow "Woody" Keeble, whose courage in... More »

Kerry Takes $1M Swift Boat Challenge

Senator vows to face Texas billionaire and blast allegations

(Newser) - John Kerry accepted a $1 million challenge today to back his military record against claims by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the AP reports. The former Dem nom answered an open challenge by oilman T. Boone Pickens, a key funder of the group that claimed Kerry fudged his military... More »

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