Celebrating Purple Heart Day

On August 7th our nation celebrates Purple Heart Day, honoring all those who have been wounded or killed during enemy combat while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Purple Heart is considered the highest distinction, reserved for those who have made a huge sacrifice for our country. Here at UMC, we want to recognize and honor our veteran community members for their bravery and their sacrifices. In this article, we’ll share some important facts about the Purple Heart medal and those who receive it. 

John F. Kennedy is the only U.S. President to receive a purple heart. You may not have known that during World War II, JFK served in the Navy and was injured in a boating accident near the Solomon Islands. His boat was sinking and there was no land in sight, and a fellow crew member was badly burned. JFK sprang into action and pulled his crew member alongside himself as he swam three miles to an island, no doubt saving the crew member’s life. In addition to the Purple Heart, JFK was also awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his actions on that day. 

It’s the oldest military award still given to service members. The Purple Heart wasn’t always called by that name. It was originally called the Badge of Military Merit and was first awarded to recipients by George Washington in 1782. Washington designed the badge using purple cloth in the shape of a heart, hence the evolution of the award’s name. 

The first woman received a Purple Heart in 1943. While serving as a WWII combat nurse, Cordelia “Betty” Cook was injured by shrapnel in a field hospital in Italy. Despite her wounds, she continued to tend to injured soldiers, and she was later awarded both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for her service. 

The current record holder for Purple Hearts received is Curry T. Haynes, who was awarded nine Purple Hearts. Haynes sustained serious injuries while serving in the Army during the Vietnam War, and he passed away in 2017. 

Have any celebrities received a Purple Heart? Yes, famous Purple Heart recipients include actors James Garner, Rod Serling, and Charles Bronson, writers Oliver Stone and Kurt Vonnegut, and athletes Pat Tillman and Rocky Bleier.

Assisted living for veterans in Cape May County

At UMC at The Shores, we’re proud to provide a premier assisted living community for veterans in South Jersey and beyond. Those who have sacrificed for our nation deserve to have the highest level of care, and at The Shores we provide a personalized experience for all of our community members. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to assisted living. Instead, we work closely with each resident to determine an In-Home care plan that caters to their needs. 

Veterans sometimes have specific medical needs, especially those who have sustained injuries while serving, and our healthcare team is available 24/7 to provide support. We also encourage our residents to continue living as independently as possible while having full access to the medical care they require. 

For more information about UMC at The Shores, or if you have any questions, please contact our team today. Discover why so many people in Cape May County choose our assisted living community for themselves or their loved ones.