Local veteran appreciates National Purple Heart Day
The Purple Heart is America's oldest decoration for military merit, created by George Washington back in 1792. Since 1944 the Purple Heart is given only to soldiers who are killed or wounded in combat. To mark the day, Friday was National Purple Heart Day.
Branden Stackenwalt of Rapid City was awarded the Purple Heart after being injured while serving with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. He suffered a traumatic brain injury when an IED exploded while he was on patrol in Kandahar Province in September of 2009. He says the medal and the day mean a lot to him.
Stackenwalt says, “For me, I like the recognition to get it out there for the rest of the veterans who can’t get it out there themselves They need the help and support they can get, We all need to show that, that love and support to those who need it. It means defending life and what you have, defending family and the country, your loved ones and stuff like that.”> The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor estimates there have been 1-point-8 million Purple Hearts awarded since its inception.