Oswego County Joins the Campaign to Recognize Purple Heart Recipients

OSWEGO – The Oswego County Legislature proclaimed this county a “Purple Heart County” at its April meeting. It also designated that day, April 15, to remember and recognize veterans who have received the Purple Heart Medal.

“Veterans have paid a high price to protect our way of life and defend our freedoms,” said,” said Oswego County Legislator Roy Reehil, District 5, chairman of the Oswego County Legislature’s Human Services Committee which oversees the Oswego County Veterans’ Agency. “They left their families and communities to place themselves in harm’s way for the good of us all. This important distinction gives us an opportunity to honor their courageous sacrifice and I encourage all of our citizens to join us and help ensure these heroes get the recognition, respect and support they so rightfully deserve.”

The Purple Heart medal is the oldest military honor still in use today. It was originally designated as the Badge of Military Merit by General George Washington in 1782 and only awarded to three soldiers of the Revolutionary War. It was re-instituted after World War I to mark the bicentennial of Washington’s birth.

Oswego County Veterans’ Services Agency Director Jamie Hamlin said, “The Purple Heart medal was the first American service award that was available to the common soldier. It is awarded to servicemen and women who have been wounded or killed in combat with enemy forces.

“Many of our citizens have earned this honor for their brave actions in combat,” she added. “Designating Oswego County as a ‘Purple Heart County’ is a great way for us to show our respect for those who have sacrifice for our country and recognize their contributions in securing and maintaining our nation’s freedom.”

The Oswego County Legislature’s Human Services Committee oversees the Oswego County Veterans’ Services Agency. In addition to Legislator Reehil, other members include Vice Chairman Bradley Trudell, District 7 and legislators Thomas Drumm, District 16; James Karasek, District 22; Tim Stahl, District 20; Herbert Yerdon, District 2 and Michael Yerdon, District 1.

The Oswego County Veterans’ Services Agency provides assistance to veterans, their dependents and family members on veterans’ benefits. Programs include compensation, pension, education, training, vocational rehabilitation, home loan guarantees, life insurance, burial and survivor benefits, health care and other federal benefits.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 315-591-9100.