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The Military Order of the Purple Heart

For Immediate Release

Springfield, VA April 29, 2010

The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) honors former Combat Medic and Arkansas National Guard Specialist Michelle Donovan of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas

The sun was shining brightly on 21 April 2010, when former Army Combat Medic, Specialist Michelle Donovan received her Purple Heart Medal, almost three full years after being seriously wounded in Iraq.


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.

For more than a year, Patriot 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 ended on 21 April 2010, when Specialist Donovan finally received her Purple Heart Medal.

Presenting the medal was Colonel Patricia Anslow, Donovan's commanding officer at the time of her injuries, who is now Deputy Chief of Staff of the Arkansas Corps of Engineers.

Col. Patricia Anslow presents Purple Heart Medal to Specialist Michelle Donovan

Surry Shaffer presents MOPH hat to Donovan 


MOPH Chapter 783 Commander Lawrence Sack officiated at the special ceremony that included remarks from National Senior Vice Commander Clayton Jones and a special presentation by Mrs. Sylvia Mathews of the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).  On behalf of Chapter 783, Surry Shaffer presented Donovan with a life membership in the MOPH as well as an official Member hat.  Also attending were Specialist Donovan’s mother, mother-in-law, and her two sons, Trevor and Cory Donovan.



Pictured L. to R. Clayton Jones,  Pat Donovan, Trevor Donovan, Michelle Donovan,

 Cory Donovan, Barbara Nelson, Surry Shaffer, COL Anslow


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 assistanceThrough 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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