SPRINGFIELD, VA--(Marketwired - January 26, 2017) - The Military Order of the Purple Heart, representing over 45,000 combat wounded Purple Heart recipients, is proud to salute U.S. Representative Paul Cook, (R-CA-8) for his introduction of HR 544, the "Private Corrado Piccoli Purple Heart Preservation Act," and encourages other members of the House of Representatives to support and join as co-sponsors of this bill. Himself a two time Purple Heart recipient, Cook serves on the Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees. He formerly served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps.
If enacted into law, the bill would prohibit the sale of any Purple Heart medal, America's oldest military decoration, established originally by General George Washington as the Badge of Merit during the Revolutionary War. Today, it is presented only to those who have been wounded or killed in action on the battlefield, or by an act of international terrorism. It may be presented to the next of kin for a servicemember who is killed in action against an enemy of the United States.
HR 544 is named for Private Corrado Piccoli, a WWII infantryman killed in action in 1944. A Purple Heart medal accompanied the telegram informing Private Piccoli's family of his death. Sadly, years later and after his parents' passing, the medal was lost. Found by "Purple Hearts Reunited," a non-profit service organization dedicated to locating and rescuing these medals from pawn shops, junk stores, and estate sales, and returning them to the recipients' families, the medal was returned to the Piccoli family. Although the act of selling Purple Hearts is not currently illegal in our country, many have started to question the ethics behind it. Because of this, Congress and members of the Veteran community have called for legislation to prohibit this market. Named the Private Corrado Piccoli Purple Heart Preservation Act, the bill would make it illegal to sell Purple Hearts. Currently, the only other medal protected in this manner is the Medal of Honor. Many opponents of the bill have questioned it's restrictions of civil liberties in regards to the right of a Veteran or family to sell their medal if they do so choose. The bill still allows these parties to gift their medals and it allows medal enthusiast to still own them. The bill simply prevents selling them, which protects the integrity of the medal itself and the legacy and or sacrifice of that Veteran. We as a country owe them that respect.
The "Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A. Inc.," (MOPH) was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all combat wounded veterans and active duty men and women who have received the decoration. Chartered by the Congress, The MOPH is unique among Veteran Service Organizations in that all its members were wounded in combat. For this sacrifice, they were awarded the Purple Heart Medal. With grants from the MOPH Service Foundation, the MOPH and its Ladies Auxiliary promote Patriotism, Fraternalism, and the Preservation of America's military history. Most importantly, through veteran service, they provide comfort and assistance to all Veterans and their families, especially those requiring claims assistance with the VA, those who are homeless, and those requiring employment assistance. Programs of the MOPH include VA Volunteer Service, JROTC Leadership Awards, Scholarships, Americanism, Purple Heart Trail and Cities, Welfare, and numerous community service programs, all with the objective of service to Veterans and their families.
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