JONESBORO, Ark. (October 20, 2016) – Arkansas State is now a "Purple Heart University" as proclaimed by Chancellor Doug Whitlock Friday during a Homecoming open house hosted by the Department of Military Science.
Whitlock read his proclamation at the event, during which A-State's eight inductees into the U.S. Army Cadet Command Hall of Fame were recognized.
"Arkansas State University appreciates the sacrifices of all Purple Heart recipients, celebrates their courage, and acknowledges that our freedoms are secured thanks to their service to our Country," Whitlock read from the proclamation. "Arkansas State University pledges its support to the Military Order of the Purple Heart and for those who put their lives at risk in service of our Nation and their fellow citizens."
Through the proclamation, believed to be the first by an Arkansas university, Whitlock said Arkansas State will make special commendation to Purple Heart Veterans as a part of Heroes Day at A-State, Saturday, Nov. 12. Plans call for a special recognition on the field for student and alumni Purple Heart recipients, as well as Purple Heart recipients from the Jonesboro community.
A-State has hosted Reserve Officers' Training Corps units for the past 80 years, one of the oldest ROTC units in America, and the Red Wolf Battalion's Hall of Heroes has enshrined the names of 79 alumni for their military service.
The proclamation notes many alumni of Arkansas State have made the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives to defend our freedom, and numerous others have endured combat wounds.
Chartered by an act of Congress, the mission of the Military Order of the Purple Heart is to foster an environment of good will among the combat-wounded veteran members and their families, promote patriotism, support legislative initiative and perpetuate awareness.
Initiated by George Washington as the Badge of Military Merit in 1782, the Purple Heart is the oldest decoration presently in use by the American military. The Purple Heart was the first service award or decoration made available to the common soldier and is presented in the name of the President to any member of the armed services who is wounded or killed in combat with a declared enemy of the United States.