Today, Tulsa County was designated by the Military Order of the Purple Heart as a Purple Heart County, becoming the first in Oklahoma to receive the designation, which serves to remember and recognize all Veterans, including those who are recipients of the Purple Heart Medal.
The Purple Heart Medal is awarded to members of the armed forces of the United States who have been wounded, killed in action, or died of wounds received in action. The medal is specifically a combat decoration and is the oldest military honor, dating back to 1782 when George Washington established it as the Badge of Military Merit.
“Today is a great day in Tulsa County’s history. One where we have proclaimed that we honor our Veterans and those who currently serve, their families, and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect our way of life,” said County Commissioner Stan Sallee, who sponsored the Purple Heart County designation effort. “Citizens, visitors, and tourists will see our new Purple Heart County signs when entering and exiting the County, reminding them, our Veterans, and those currently serving that we are grateful for their service.”
“Commissioner Sallee and Tulsa County have shown their commitment to the County’s Veterans—and our nation’s—with this designation,” said Commander Mitch Reed, Chapter 589 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. “Just a few years ago, Oklahoma was not participating in this program, but we are starting to see much more participation thanks to the efforts of cities like Broken Arrow and Collinsville as well as Tribal Nations and even universities. Seeing the first Purple Heart County in Oklahoma is truly an honor for veterans like myself who call Tulsa County home.”
The state of Oklahoma will also become a Purple Heart State on Nov. 1, 2019.