MANILA, AR (KAIT) - An American Legion Post in Manila became the first in the state to be honored with a Purple Heart post designation.
The Herman Davis American Legion Post 197 in Manila was honored Sunday with the “Military Order of the Purple Heart Special Recognition Award.”
A Purple Heart medal is awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy.
Everett Evans, Northeast Arkansas Chapter 709 Commander of the Military Order of Purple Heart, knows the value of the award.
“It signifies a group of individuals that gave their all,” Evans said.
It was awarded to the American Legion Post 197 because of its dedication to honoring America’s combat wounded veterans.
Post Commander of American Legion Post 197, Gregg Roll, and organizers of the event value the significance of the award.
“They went out and there and put their lives on the line,” Roll said.
This purple heart post recognizes an American Legion Post that has members who have received the Purple Heart medal.
“We want to bring recognition to those because they did make the ultimate sacrifice in a combat situation and served our country,” said Roll. “That’s why we want to honor them and make sure that they are absolutely recognized.”
“To me, its one of the highest military awards that you can receive,” said Evans.
“It means everything to you, it’s highly recognizable and highly coveted by the recipients of the Purple Heart," said Evans.
Tim Tracer served as an E4 in the Infantry in Vietnam and received his Purple Heart in 1969.
He was struck in the face in the face by shrapnel after either a bomb or a rocket went off.
“It’s an honor but, it’s one that you really don’t want to earn, because you know you got wounded," Tracer said.
Tracer is one of three Purple Heart recipients currently living in Manila.
Others honored Sunday included Jerry McCain and J.C. Green.
The recognition Sunday will be one that will be seen by many.
“We will have more signs out,” said Roll. “We will have signs coming in from Jonesboro on Highway 18 and Blytheville."