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The Military Order of the Purple Heart

For Immediate Release

Springfield, VA - July 19, 2010


On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the creation of the Veterans Administration on July 21, 1930, the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) salutes the nearly 280,000 dedicated doctors, nurses, technicians and staff of the Department of Veterans Affairs for their devoted and professional care of our nation’s veterans, now numbering about 23 million men and women.

On that date, President Herbert Hoover signed Executive Order 5398 to implement a congressionally mandated effort to “consolidate and coordinate governmental activities affecting war veterans.”  Until 1930, the various benefits for veterans had been administered by three different Federal agencies: the Veterans Bureau, the Bureau of Pensions, and the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.  BG Frank T. Hines, who had directed the Veterans Bureau for seven years, became the first Administrator of Veterans Affairs, a job he held until 1945.

Since January 21, 2009, The VA has been led by Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, a former US Army Chief of Staff, who oversees a health care system that has grown from 54 hospitals in 1930, to a nationwide network of 153 hospitals, 995 outpatient clinics, 135 community living centers, 49 domiciliary residential rehabilitation treatment programs, 232 Vet centers, 57 Veterans benefits regional offices, and 128 national cemeteries.  In 1989, President George H.W. Bush, raised the Department to a Cabinet level position and the VA is now the second largest government agency after the Department of Defense.

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 combat wounded veterans and active duty men and women 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, through veteran service, 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 selflessly provide assistance to hospitalized veterans at VA medical facilities and State Veterans Homes.

For information contact:
National Public Relations Director, John Bircher, 352-753-5535
Email: PublicRelations@Purpleheart.org
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