'Purple Heart Day' honors wounded soldiers

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August 7th is the day where Americans take a moment to pause and honor soldiers wounded in combat, as well as fallen heroes.

The Purple Heart is awarded to any US Armed Forces member that has been wounded or died as a result of a wound in battle.

John Knott is a retired Purple Heart recipient, with 19 years of military experience.
He joined the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 675 in Fairbanks, to help educate on what the Purple Heart means.

"This is a great community. One of the most veteran-friendly we've ever lived in so it speaks for itself. This is a great place to live. So Purple Heart Day, August 7th, it was established to commemorate the establishments for the badge of military merit in 1782. So that's really what we're observing today."

Office Manager with the Vet Center in downtown Fairbanks, Brad Bunnell, agrees that education is important but it can be difficult to speak about.

"There are men and women out there in our community that have the Purple Heart ad it takes a lot to receive one. You have to combat wounded and the ultimate sacrifice so it's a coveted medal ad not a lot of people know about it. Not a lot of people talk about it either. That certain event that we experience, to receive, isn't a good one. It's personal and it's deep routed and sometimes we might not want to talk about it because it's real personal."

The Military Order of the Purple Heart, also focuses on fundraising for hospitalized and disabled veterans and their families, as well as education.