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The Military Order of the Purple Heart

For Immediate Release

Albuquerque, NM - May 17, 2010


On Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, 2010, at 10:00 am, the Public, and especially all Veterans, are invited to join the Department of New Mexico, Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), in honoring all the servicemen and women who gave their lives in defense of their Nation at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial, located at 1100 Louisiana Blvd. SE, Albuquerque, NM.  This special Memorial Day ceremony pays tribute to the families of New Mexico’s military men and women who sacrificed their lives in the past year protecting our freedoms and way of life.

New Mexico MOPH Department Commander Pete Comstock will be joined by New Mexico’s other national Veteran Service Organizations that make up the United Veterans Council.  Since 2005, the Veterans’ Council has sponsored Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies at the New Mexico Veterans’ Memorial — a sprawling facility adjacent to Kirtland Air Force Base that honors the thousands of New Mexico’s service members who sacrificed all for their country.

L to R -- Pete Comstock, Ken O’Keefe and Larry Blair, Themselves Purple Heart

 recipients, who are the key organizers Of the Memorial Day Ceremonies in

Albuquerque, New Mexico (Photo by Dean Hanson, Albuquerque Journal)

Each year, the families of those service members who lost their life in the past year are invited to attend this special ceremony, and all travel and lodging expenses are covered by the United Veterans Council members who regard the expenses as an opportunity to honor and thank the families.  Being honored this year are the families of Marine CPT Brian Barrett, Sergeant First Class Ken Westbrook, US Army Specialist Joseph Gallegos, Specialist Tony Carrasco, Specialist Brian Bowman, and PFC Zach Lovejoy.

At the ceremony, family members are presented with an engraved brick bearing their warrior’s name, which will be permanently installed in the walkways of the veterans’ memorial; a personalized plaque etched with the warrior’s image from the Military Order of the Purple Heart; and, a one-of-a-kind quilt made by members of the Jemez Mountain Bear Paw Quilting Guild. The Council also hosts a post-ceremony luncheon for the families to meet and continue to share the day, an event as important to the families as the ceremonies themselves.

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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