PURPLE HEART MEDAL PRESENTATION CEREMONY
United States Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
will join Veterans of VFW Post 1170 and members of the
Bluegrass Chapter 146 Military Order of the Purple Heart in presenting
Sergeant Jesse Wethington, Kentucky Army National Guard
with a Purple Heart Medal for wounds sustained in combat while deployed to Iraq in 2005.
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Middletown VFW Post 1170
107 Evergreen Road, Louisville, Kentucky
SGT Jesse Wethington, Battery B, 1st Battalion, 623d Field Artillery, is a native of Liberty, Kentucky. He served in the Kentucky Army National Guard from August 2002 to July 2012, including one tour during Operation Iraqi Freedom. On September 30, 2005, Wethington sustained injuries from the blast of an improvised explosive device in Iraq.
The Medal now known as the Purple Heart actually began as the “Badge of Military Merit.” On August 7, 1782, General George Washington ordered the creation of a badge of distinction for enlisted men and noncommissioned officers.
General Douglas MacArthur, in 1931–32, commissioned a redesign of the newly-revived medal, which became known as the Purple Heart. This new design was issued on the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth and MacArthur was the first recipient.
During the early period of American involvement in World War II, the Purple Heart was awarded for wounds received in action against the enemy and for meritorious performance of duty. An executive order in 1942 authorized the award only for wounds received, and extended the decoration to be applicable to all Services.
Today, the Purple Heart Medal is the oldest, continuous, military decoration. It is a singular honor reflecting personal sacrifice and is awarded not earned.
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