The governor has proclaimed Friday, Aug. 7, as “Purple Heart Recognition Day,” calling on all South Dakotans to honor those men and women who are recipients of the Purple Heart Medal.

The Purple Heart, our nation’s oldest military medal, is awarded to those service men and women who have borne the battle, sacrificing life and limb.

Purple Heart recipients in South Dakota now number 345, with 52 of these being in the South Dakota National Guard since 9/11, according to Audry Ricketts with the S.D. Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

“It unites our country in recognizing the sacrifices of those who have risked everything in serving our great nation,” said Greg Whitlock, Secretary of the S.D. Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

The governor encourages all South Dakotans to set aside time on Aug. 7 to honor our heroes who have earned the Purple Heart. “It is important for all Americans to learn the history of this important military award and the sacrifices made by the recipients,” said Gov. Kristi Noem.

“America’s veterans have been defined by the virtues of selfless service, sacrifice and devotion to duty,” said Whitlock. “These men and women, who serve and have served, are the flesh and blood of American exceptionalism.”

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