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The Military Order of the Purple Heart


Washington, DC, April 2, 2012


Calling All Combat Wounded Veterans to Branson, Missouri


The Military Order of the Purple Heart is proud to announce its support for the fourth annual Branson.Com special salute to Purple Heart recipients -- Hand-in-Hand.  All Purple Heart recipients are invited to join the MOPH in Branson 26-28 April 2012 for this special event.. 


This special “Hand in Hand” event takes place over three fun-packed days and features a wide variety of dining, entertainment and sporting events designed specifically for combat wounded veterans.  As one Purple Heart recipient said after last year’s event, “I have never felt so personally honored or more patriotic than I did during Hand-in-Hand in Branson.”


On Thursday, April 26, the weekend kicks off with registration in the morning, followed by an Opening ceremony at the Hamner Barber Theatre, Shepherd of the Hills Expressway.  The ceremony includes a special program of music and comedy entertainment as well as a panel of experts from the Military Order of the Purple Heart who will present a “Town Hall Meeting” on how veterans and their families can get their benefits.  In addition to a Question and Answer period, these experts will be available for private consultations.  The Military Order of the Purple Heart will be represented by National Commander Bill Hutton, Senior Vice Commander Bruce McKenty. LAMOPH National President Barbara Cherone, MOPH National Service Director Frank Van Hoy, and Members of the Department of Missouri.  The evening will be open to enjoy the many dining and entertainment experiences available in Branson.


On Friday morning, attendees will be treated to a special entertainment extravaganza composed of a wide variety of entertainers currently performing in Branson.  Again, this special performance will take place at the Hamner-Barber Theater. Based on a drawing at this event, many of the veterans will have the opportunity to compete in a Bass Fishing Tournament in the afternoon.  For those not fishing, including wives and other guest, will climb aboard the Ducks and head to the Branson Landing for a special Branson Culinary & Shopping experience. Be sure to register on line at Branson.com so they will know how much transportation to prepare for. Participants will be done with our excursion in time to meet with the returning fishermen to see who claims the biggest fish.  Then everyone will adjourn to a Fish Fry at the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Theatre.

On Saturday at 9:00 AM, all Hand-in-Hand attendees are invited to visit the Titanic Museum Attraction, a permanent two-story museum shaped like the RMS Titanic itself. The museum holds 400 pre-discovery artifacts in twenty galleries and is anchored in water to create the illusion of Titanic at sea. It is the 100 year Anniversary of the Titanic and the owners have graciously invited all Purple Heart Recipients to board the ship for free. There will be an admissions charge of $25 for spouses, significant others, or other family members. 

At 9:30 a group of motorcycle riders will gather at the Branson First Stop, 220 Branson Hills Parkway, and will ride to Eureka Springs. The ride will end at Hamner Barber Theatre where they will honor the Purple Heart Recipients.  By the time they arrive, all Hand-in-Hand attendees will have converged on the theater in preparation for the closing Ceremonies.

At 2:30 the closing ceremony will take place in the Hamner Barber Theatre, 3090 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Branson.  This year’s special guest speaker is Staff Sergeant Robert Henline, U.S. Army (Retired).  . In March 2007, while on his third deployment in Iraq, SSGT Hamline’s truck hit a roadside bomb (IED).  Henline was burned over nearly 38 percent of his body and was evacuated to the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX.  Henline has what are called full thickness burns, meaning a majority of his skin was destroyed, with most of the burns concentrated on his face, head and left arm. Henline will be accompanied by his loving wife Connie, who has devoted her life to her husband’s recovery.  The Henline's have three children and Connie admits that it is a challenge to be a mother, nurse and a wife. Nevertheless, Connie and the children say everyday with Robert is truly a gift.

All activities are free of charge to all veterans and their families, with the exception of a minimal charge for the fish fry and the Titanic tour.  For details, please visit the website “Branson.com” to pre-register online for all events.  If you have any questions, call 417-334-2360 and please keep checking back on the website for any changes.  For discount shows and lodging please call 1-800-619-5708 or go to www.BransonTourismCenter.com


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