The Purple Heart Trail was created as a symbolic linking of entities across the nation that pays tribute to veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart medal.

Mount Vernon, Va., is the first stop on the nationwide trail. Enterprise was awarded a spot on the prestigious, patriotic trail at the city council meeting May 17 with its new designation as a Purple Heart City.

Enterprise City Councilmen joined members of the Montgomery Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart in honoring nearly two dozen Purple Heart recipients from Enterprise who had been invited to the ceremony designating Enterprise as a Purple Heart City.

Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell thanked three time Purple Heart recipient Robert Richard Green for his part in making the city aware of the possibility of attaining a Purple Heart City designation.

Green received his first Purple Heart in Vietnam in 1968 on his 21st birthday, which was also his first day in the field.

Also recognized were Edward Cain, who earned Purple Hearts in Korea in 1951 and 1952 and one in Vietnam in 1970; James Burchett, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam in 1966;

Darrell Fell, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam in 1966; Jim Bias, who earned two Purple Hearts after being injured twice eight months apart in 1967; Robert Ehlers, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam in 1968; Jerry Conaway, who earned Purple Hearts in Vietnam in 1966, 1967 and 1971; Ed Gilmore, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam in 1962; Charles Webb, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam in 1967; the late Eugene Malkoff, represented by his wife Pat, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam; Jake Stevens, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam in 1968; Anthony “Tony” Hutson, who earned three Purple Hearts in Vietnam in 1966 and 1967;

Jerry Goodson, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam in 1967; Walt Miller, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam in 1968; Robert Bourne, who earned a Purple Heart in Iraq in 2006;

John Wilkes, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam in 1969; Ricky Medley, who earned a Purple Heart in Iraq in 2006; Thomas S. Oldham, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam in 1970; Dave Sutton, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam in 1968; James Martin, who earned a Purple Heart in Afghanistan; Lloyd S. Ankrum, who earned a Purple Heart in Iraq in 2003; Garland Faust, who earned Purple Hearts in Vietnam in 1966, 1967 and 1968; David P. Brown, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam in 1965; John Sherling, who earned a Purple Heart in Iraq in 2006; Gene Bearman, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam in 1968; Jim Cassel, who earned Purple Hearts in Vietnam in 1963 and 1967; and Dwain Hartwick, who earned Purple Hearts in Vietnam in 1969 and 1972.

“The Purple Heart was initially created as the Badge of Military Merit by General George Washington in 1782,” said Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell to those attending the ceremony in the city council chambers. “It is a combat decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who have been wounded or given their lives in combat with a declared enemy of the United States.

“The people of the city of Enterprise have great admiration and the utmost gratitude for all of the men and women who have selflessly served their country and this community in the Armed Forces,” said Boswell, before signing the proclamation. “The city of Enterprise has a large, highly decorated veteran population, and believes it is important to recognize the high price paid by those veterans, who have left their families and placed themselves in harm’s way while serving to protect the freedoms enjoyed by all Americans.

“The city of Enterprise supports the mission of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, which is to foster an environment of goodwill among the combat-wounded veteran members and their families, promote patriotism, support legislative initiatives,” Boswell said. “And most important, to make sure that Americans never forget to recognize the price that servicemen and women have paid for our nation’s freedom.”

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