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The Military Order of the Purple Heart

For Immediate Release

Springfield, VA - May 21, 2010


The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) is proud to announce the selection of Harry “Kip” Monroe of West Palm Beach, Florida as its “2010 Volunteer of the Year.”

From humble beginnings in the apparel business, Harry “Kip” Monroe was drafted into the US Army on 9 June 1942, at the age of 21, to join the “War to End All Wars.”  Assigned to Quartermaster duties,  his leadership skills were quickly recognized and he was quickly promoted to the rank of Sergeant.  Assigned to K Company, 417th Regiment, 78th Infantry, his unit participated in the invasion of Normandy and moved on through the Ardennes into the “Battle of the Bulge.”  Monroe was given a field commission to the rank Captain and then Major as the officers of the unit gave their lives in battle.  Kip Monroe himself was gravely wounded when an artillery round struck the jeep in which he was riding, killing his driver and rendering him unconscious.  He did not awake from his coma until he found himself in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.  For his wounds and sacrifice, he received the Purple Heart Medal.

After his discharge from the US Army in 1945, he joined Bond’s Clothing Stores until he decided to open his own business, “Monroe Direct Marketing”, with offices in New York and Chicago.  In 1990, with his wife in illness, Kip retired, sold his business, and moved to Palm Beach, Florida until her death soon thereafter.  At this point, Kip Monroe launched a new career – he dedicated his life to his fellow veterans and the Military Order of the Purple Heart.  First, he organized a Chapter of the Order in Palm Beach and moved through the leadership chairs in both the Chapter and in the Department of Florida.

More importantly, Mr. Monroe began volunteering his time with the newly constructed West Palm Beach VA Medical Center.  The stories of his time there in the service of his fellow veterans, and the tales of his coming and going, are the threads from which the fabric of legend are woven.  He personally organized many special events for the veteran patients.  From his own pocket, he purchased food, games, T-Shirts, holiday presents, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and much, much more for those patients without the resources to care for themselves.  In all, Mr. Monroe has volunteered thousands of hours with the VA Medical Center.

Now at age 89, Kip Monroe continues as the consummate MOPH Volunteer with the Department of Veteran Affairs.  His selfless devotion to his fellow veterans serves as an outstanding example for the many men and women who donate their time and compassion as Veteran Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) volunteers.

The organization now known as the "Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A. Inc.," (MOPH) was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the decoration. Chartered by the Congress, The 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 all Veterans and their families, especially those requiring claims assistance with the VA, those who are homeless, and those requiring employment assistance.  Through the VAVS program, MOPH volunteers provide assistance to hospitalized veterans at VA sites and State Veterans Homes.

For information about the VAVS Program, contact:
MOPH National VAVS Director Delbert “Bulldog” Turner, 256 891-0592
Email: dplusk@aol.com
National Public Relations Director, John Bircher, 352-753-5535
Email: PublicRelations@Purpleheart.org
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