National Purple Heart organization opens nominations for annual salute in New York

Two Fort Wainwright soldiers were awarded purple hearts for injuries they sustained during the...
Two Fort Wainwright soldiers were awarded purple hearts for injuries they sustained during the Iran missile attack in January. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF) (KTVF)
Published: May. 28, 2020 at 1:47 PM AKDT
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The National Purple Heart Honor Mission announced today that it is opening the nomination process for its 2021 Purple Heart Patriot Project. This multi-day salute to service will bring together Purple Heart heroes representing each state and territory in the nation to pay tribute to their courage and sacrifice on behalf of a grateful nation.

One Purple Heart recipient and an escort of their choosing from each state and territory will again be selected for an all-expenses-paid tribute filled with tours and ceremonies honoring their service and that of all those who have earned the Purple Heart. The four-day Patriot Project Mission will feature visits to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, historic Washington’s Headquarters where the Badge of Military Merit originated in 1782, and a private tour of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor – the museum dedicated to paying tribute to our nation’s combat wounded. Other special tribute events are also being planned.

“Our nation’s Purple Heart recipients have made extraordinary sacrifices for our freedom,” said National Purple Heart Honor Mission Executive Director, Russell Vernon, Col. USA Ret. “These brave men and women who bare the physical scars of war, saved the world from the darkness of Nazism, communism, fascism and terrorism. This tribute is a reminder to all of us that their sacrifice will never be forgotten. For some, it is the homecoming they never had. For others, it is an opportunity to connect with their fellow Purple Heart recipients and share stories only they can fully appreciate. For all Americans, The Patriot Project it’s a reminder of the cost of freedom.”

It is estimated that more than 1.8 million Americans have been awarded the Purple Heart for being wounded in action or making the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

“The honorees we will select symbolize what it means to be humble heroes, who served, sacrificed and continued to serve their communities,” said Vernon.

The Purple Heart recipients who have participated in the Honor Flight-style program have been moved by the outpouring of gratitude from the public and the immediate sense of camaraderie they felt with their fellow honorees.

Anyone can nominate a Purple Heart recipient they know. Nominations must include a short description (up to 250 words) of why their nominee is deserving of this special recognition. Submissions can be sent via email to or submitted via the Honor Mission’s website at

. Nominations will be accepted until August 31. The Honor Mission will select three finalists from each state and territory and a national panel of Purple Heart recipients and other distinguished Americans will select the final honorees. A complete list of honorees will be announced nationally on November 11 – Veteran’s Day – 2020.

Video footage of the 2019 Patriot Project Mission and interviews with select honorees can be found at:


The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, which was established and expanded through the vision and work of the Honor Mission, today is operated by the New York-New Jersey Palisades Interstate Park Commission. The National Purple Heart Honor Mission is an approved 501(c)3 national charitable organization that provides a range of tribute programming to honor our Purple Heart heroes and preserve their legacy.