The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the
armed forces of the U.S. 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. It is specifically a combat decoration.
The organization now known as the "Military Order of
the Purple Heart," was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest
of all who have received the decoration. Composed exclusively of Purple Heart recipients,
it is the only veterans service organization comprised strictly of “combat” veterans.
Funds for welfare, rehabilitation and/or service work
carried on by the organization are derived through the collection of used household
items, the operation of thrift stores, through the donation of automobiles and,
at the community level,
from the annual distribution of its official flower, the
Purple Heart Viola. Violas are assembled by disabled and needy veterans, many of
whom receive little or no compensation from other sources. Thus, your contribution
to our programs serve are two-fold. First, they help the veterans who participate
in these endeavors and, secondly, they enable the organization to do many things
on behalf of hospitalized and needy veterans and their families.
Wives, mothers, daughters and adopted
daughters of Purple Heart recipients are eligible to belong to the Ladies' Auxiliary
of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, which also does important work nationally
and locally in veterans' hospitals.