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The Military Order of the Purple Heart

For Immediate Release

Washington DC, April 15, 2010

American Soldier Wounded in Iraq to Receive Belated Award of Purple Heart Medal in a Special Ceremony in Hot Springs Village, AR.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) is pleased to honor former Arkansas National Guard Specialist Michelle Donovan of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.  Specialist Donovan was a combat medic assigned to the 875th Engineer Battalion, Arkansas National Guard.  On August 21, 2007, while on patrol in Iraq as the lead element of three reconnaissance teams, the vehicle in which she was riding struck an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), leaving her and her four team members seriously wounded.  Specialist Donovan herself suffered severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and wounds to her leg and shoulder as well as injuries to her face, sufficient to require a medical discharge from the Arkansas National Guard,.  

This past year, it was discovered that Specialist Donovan had never received the Purple Heart Medal to which she was entitled.  On her behalf, Surry G. Shaffer, Jr., the founder and former Commander of MOPH Chapter 783 in Hot Springs Village, and himself a WWII veteran who was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge, began a crusade that will culminate on 21 April 2010, when Specialist Donovan will finally receive her Purple Heart Medal, three years after the fact.  Presenting the medal will be Colonel Patricia Anslow, Donovan’s commanding officer at the time of her injuries, who is now Deputy Commander of the Arkansas Corps of Engineers.  Colonel Anslow was not aware that neither Donovan nor any of her 4 other team members had ever received their Purple Hearts.

The public is invited to join the Military Order of the Purple Heart in honoring Specialist Donovan on Wednesday, April 21 at 3:00 PM at the Veterans’ Memorial on Desoto Blvd., Hot Springs Village, AR.  In addition to many local and state dignitaries, Specialist Donovan’s mother and son will attend.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) is unique among Veteran Service Organizations in that all its members were wounded in combat. For this sacrifice, they were awarded the Purple Heart Medal. With grants from the MOPH Service Foundation, the MOPH and its Ladies Auxiliary promote Patriotism, Fraternalism, and the Preservation of America's Military History. Most importantly, they provide comfort and assistance to al, l Veterans and their families, especially those requiring claims assistance with the VA, those who are homeless, and those requiring employment assistance.  MOPH volunteers provide assistance to Hospitalized veterans at VA sites and State Veterans Homes.

For information contact:
Surry Shaffer, (501) 922-6909
Email: Dori9645@sbcglobal.net
National Public Relations Director, John Bircher, 352-753-5535
Email: PublicRelations@Purpleheart.org
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