The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Purple Heart Day
On August 7, 1782, in Newburgh, New York, General George Washington announced the creation of the Badge for Military Merit, a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk with the word “Merit” embroidered in silver. The badge would be presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action” and anyone wearing it could pass guarded checkpoints unchallenged. Each recipient’s name was entered into the “Book of Merit,” along with the regiment in which he served.
“The General ever desirous to cherish virtuous ambition in his soldiers, as well as to foster and encourage every species of Military merit, directs that whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings over the left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth, or silk, edged with narrow lace or binding. Not only instances of unusual gallantry, but also of extraordinary fidelity and essential service in any way shall meet with a due reward. Before this favour can be conferred on any man, the particular fact, or facts, on which it is to be grounded must be set forth to the Commander in chief accompanied with certificates from the Commanding officers of the regiment and brigade to which the Candadate [sic] for reward belonged, or other incontestable proofs, and upon granting it, the name and regiment of the person with the action so certified are to be enrolled in the book of merit which will be kept at the orderly office. Men who have merited this last distinction to be suffered to pass all guards and sentinals [sic] which officers are permitted to do. The road to glory in a patriot army and a free country is thus open to all. This order is also to have retrospect to the earliest stages of the war, and to be considered as a permanent one.”
The Order of the Purple Heart
Elijah Churchill, William Brown and Daniel Bissell, Jr., are the only three known soldiers to receive the original Purple Heart during the Revolutionary War. The Book of Merit was lost, and the Purple Heart faded into obscurity until General Charles P. Summerall, then Army chief of staff, petitioned Congress in 1927 to “revive the Badge of Military Merit.” In 1931, General Douglas MacArthur, Summerall’s successor, took the initiative to reinstate the award in time for Washington’s 200th birthday. MacArthur was timely and successful, and the War Department announced the creation of the “Order of the Purple Heart” on February 22, 1932.
The reimagined Purple Heart featured, as it does today, Washington’s portrait and coat of arms. The Order of the Purple Heart, the oldest American military decoration for merit, is awarded to members of the U.S. military who have given their lives or been wounded in action against an enemy suffered abuse at the hands of an enemy as prisoners of war.
Veterans and Lung Disease
Many Purple Heart recipients have served in adverse conditions and been exposed to hazardous substances such as asbestos, agent orange, and burn pit smoke. Along with smoking tobacco, breathing in hazardous substances for extended periods of time can lead to scarring of the lungs and a subsequent degenerative lung condition.
Take Action to Treat Lung Disease
Using the healing properties of adult stem cells, the Lung Institute can help promote the healing of lungs damaged by disease. Stem cells are harvested from the patient’s own blood or bone marrow, and returned to the patient where they can begin to promote healing. Adult stem cells live in blood and bone marrow tissue. They naturally respond to injury or illness. However, since stem cells don’t act quickly enough on their own, autologous stem cell therapy is used to expedite this natural healing process.
The Lung Institute has performed over 1,000 treatments since our inception two years ago and offers solutions for those struggling to breathe because of lung disease. If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with lung disease and would like to learn more about treatment options, contact the Lung Institute at (800) 729-3065.