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Crouch Receives Purple Heart City Designation

William (Bill) Hamilton Commander Chief Joseph Chapter 509 as Mayor Bob Powell receives sign for City of Crouch. - Photo by Barbara Boyer

The Crouch City Council meeting on December 13th had a special presentation by the Military Order of the Purple Heart. The tone was set by City of Crouch Mayor Bob Powell, who read a Proclamation which would designate the City of Crouch as a Purple Heart City. The small crowd of attendees witnessed the signing of the Proclamation. Special dignitaries of Military Order of the Purple Heart were there, as well, including Idaho Commander Ned Barker, William (Bill) Hamilton Commander Chief Joseph Chapter 509, Robert (Bob) Pelcher Past Commander 509 and Walter Jackson Past Department of Idaho Commander.

MOPH representatives: Idaho Commander Ned Barker, William (Bill) Hamilton Commander Chief Joseph Chapter 509, Robert (Bob) Pelcher Past Commander 509 and Walter Jackson Past Department of Idaho Commander. (not in order) – Photo by Barbara Boyer

The City of Crouch now has a Purple Heart City sign that will be placed at the city limits so that as people enter town, they will see that there is recognition to the recipients of the Purple Heart in the area. The Proclamation states, “Crouch appreciates the sacrifices our Purple Heart recipients made in defending our freedoms and believes it is important that we acknowledge them for their courage and show them the honor and support they have earned.”

A Purple Heart medallion is the oldest military decoration in present use and was initially created as the Badge of Military Merit by General George Washington in 1782. The Purple Heart was the first American service award or decoration made available to common soldiers and is especially awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who have been wounded or paid the ultimate sacrifice in combat with a declared enemy of the United States of America.

Crouch became the 40th city to becomes designated in Idaho. The Proclamation, which is signed and sealed by the City of Crouch can be seen at the Crouch City Hall and the Greater Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce office.  A Proclamation will also be at Classy Cuts by Mel. Melissa Nowland and her family are a Gold Star recipient and she was also present for the Purple Heart City designation.  She received a Proclamation which will be on her honor wall for her son who gave his life in Afghanistan while serving in the Army only a few years ago.

Gold Star family: Mel Nowland and family – photo by Barbara Boyer

After the Proclamation was made, there were many tears and smiles, even from the distinguished guests of the MOPH.  These men have witnessed this ceremony in many other towns, with each one being just as meaningful and emotional as the next. Commander Barker was especially touched by the presence and emotion by the Nowland family saying, “The presentation was great but the interaction with the Gold Star was very moving for all of us. Please thank the Mayor and council for having us and honoring all our Veterans and their Families.”  Mayor Powell, also a military veteran, thanked everyone for “the honor it was to have the City of Crouch designated a Purple Heart City.”

William (Bill) Hamilton Commander Chief Joseph Chapter 509 with Mayor Bob Powell receiving the Purple Heart City sign- photo by Janet Juroch

The mission of the Military Order of the Purple Heart – Idaho Dept. & Chief Joseph Chapter 509 is to foster an environment of goodwill among the combat-wounded veteran members and their families, promote patriotism, support legislative initiative, and most importantly to make sure we never forget the value of these military veterans. Being a part of city designations is just part of their service to wounded veterans.

The MOPH is a non-profit organization and has much more information on their Facebook page of https://www.facebook.com/mophidaho/.  They are located at 257 West Grand Island Dr., Eagle, Idaho, and phone is 208-939-6784.

Written by Janet Juroch