The Purple Heart Preservation Act (H.R. 6234) introduced this week by Rep. Paul Cook would make it explicitly illegal to buy and sell military-issued Purple Heart medals. This is in direct response to the fact that certain military memorabilia dealers are selling military-issued Purple Hearts on the secondary market at exorbitant prices. Due to the morbid curiosity of some collectors, medals engraved with the names of those killed in action seem to be commanding the highest prices. For a better idea of what is being talked about, click here: http://baystatemilitaria.com/W WII/WWIIMedalsanddocs.htm
As all of us in the VSO community know, the Purple Heart is often the last tangible item a surviving family receives when a servicemember is killed in action. Unfortunately, Purple Hearts are sometimes lost, stolen, or never properly delivered in the first place. In cases where they are recovered, we believe every effort should be made to return them to their rightful owners.
Purple Hearts Reunited, a non-profit organization strongly supported by MOPH, is dedicated to returning lost or stolen Purple Hearts to the original recipient or family at no cost. To date, Purple Hearts Reunited has returned over 300 medals and is actively working to return over 700 more. I cannot tell you how much that effort means to those families. More information on Purple Hearts Reunited can be found here: http://purpleheartsreunited.or g/. In addition to eliminating an offensive collector's market, this bill would make it easier to continue the good work of recovering and returning Purple Hearts to veterans and survivors.
Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. is a non-profit 501(C)4 National Military Widow/Widowers Service Organization chartered by the United States Congress. Donations are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes but may be deductible as trade or business expenses.