As Will mentioned in the Morning Reads, today is National Purple Heart Day. I am the grandson of a Purple Heart recipient, George DeVlaming, who earned a Purple Heart (and a Silver Star) in World War II while serving in the U.S. Army. He very rarely spoke of his experiences in the U.S. Army, but through stories told to me by my mother and some additional research on my part, I have learned of his bravery and sacrifice for the country that he loved so dearly.
I have shared about his heroism with my own children and one of the greatest moments was being able to show them my grandfather’s medals that my mother keeps in a framed box. They are a cherished keepsake that I hope we can pass on from generation to generation.
Sen. David Perdue has sought to protect current armed forced members and veterans from having their medals sold without their permission. A press release from Sen. Perdue’s office sheds some light on the Private Corrado Piccoli Purple Heart Preservation Act and a little of the background behind the hero it was named after:
U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) led a bipartisan group of senators including, Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Luther Strange (R-AL) to take action protecting the Purple Heart medal and stop second-hand dealers from profiting off of the sacrifices of America’s war heroes. The Senate passed this protection of our military’s highest honor for those who have fought to preserve our freedom by unanimous consent.
“The Purple Heart represents the great sacrifice made by our servicewomen and men who are killed or injured while fighting to defend our freedoms,” said Senator Perdue. “This revered symbol of great military sacrifice deserves respect and should not be treated as a commodity to be bought and sold. I am glad the Senate has seen the value in preserving the honor of the sacrifices made by our servicewomen and men and joined me in putting a stop to profiteering off this treasured medal.”
“We may never truly compensate these patriots for their blood and sacrifice, but we present the Purple Heart as a humble medallion of our appreciation for their service. It is unacceptable to continue allowing second-hand dealers to sell these precious medals and cheapen their value,” said Senator Udall. “I’m proud to stand with my colleagues to ensure lost and recovered Purple Hearts are returned to our veterans and their families, where they belong.”
“Our servicemen and women sacrifice so much, giving selflessly to our country to keep us safe and protect our freedom,” said Senator Capito. “The Purple Heart recognizes the sacrifice they have made, and the Private Corrado Piccoli Purple Heart Preservation Act will help protect that much-deserved honor. I was proud to co-sponsor this important legislation, which will prevent Purple Heart medals from being improperly sold for profit, and I am thrilled it passed the Senate today.”
“There is no more powerful symbol of the sacrifices made by members of the armed services than the Purple Heart. The men and women who put themselves in harm’s way, and who carry the wounds of battle, deserve our deepest respect,” said Senator Collins. “Our legislation will help ensure these medals are safe from profiteers and continue to honor the brave servicemembers who have made many sacrifices to protect our country and uphold our freedoms.”
“The men and women who earn the Purple Heart have made unimaginable sacrifices for our country, and the Private Corrado Piccoli Purple Heart Preservation Act honors and commemorates those sacrifices by protecting the integrity of this sacred symbol,” said Senator Leahy. “As a cosponsor of this bill I am proud to have supported this award’s long line of recipients, including Vermont’s own Major Zachariah Fike, who was instrumental in making this bill’s passage a reality.”
“The Purple Heart recognizes brave sacrifices and lasting physical scars,” said Senator Strange. “I am proud to stand with Senator Perdue and my colleagues to reaffirm that no price can be placed on the significance of this decoration.”
Senator Perdue introduced the Private Corrado Piccoli Purple Heart Preservation Act on March 29, 2017. Companion legislation was introduced by Congressman Paul Cook (R-CA-8) in the House of Representatives on January 13, 2017.
Private Corrado Piccoli was an Infantryman assigned to Company H, 180th Infantry Regiment, which fell under the 45th Infantry Division. Corrado was reported missing in action in the village of Fremifontaine, France, and later reported Killed in Action there on October 7, 1944.