Purple Heart organization to install military monument in Hamilton

The Military Order of the Purple Heart plans to install a monument similar to this one in Hamilton’s Veterans Park. CONTRIBUTED
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The Military Order of the Purple Heart plans to install a monument similar to this one in Hamilton’s Veterans Park. CONTRIBUTED

Veterans Park in Hamilton soon will have a new monument, this one from the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Hamilton has been designated a Purple Heart city, which requires that a place be pro-veteran and patriotic.

The organization’s membership includes about 45,000 combat-wounded veterans from all service branches. Eventually the marker — featuring red granite in a tear-drop shape and a Purple Heart symbol — will be dedicated, said Tony Kohl of Colerain Twp., a Vietnam-era veteran and the organization’s national finance officer.

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“Our work consists of helping all veterans, from all eras, and their families,” he said. “What we specialize in is service officers. They are pretty much at every large VA (hospital) in the country.”

“We’re very grateful to the cities who take care of these kids who come home, and older vets too,” Kohl said.

Mayor Pat Moeller was pleased to learn Hamilton was among Ohio’s earliest Purple Heart cities.

“This community does respect its veterans,” Moeller said. “Whether it be the special days where we recognize them, like Veterans Day or July 4. We try to think of our veterans every day.”

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The group’s trained service officers help all veterans for free. The organization raises money to pay their salaries and provide the supplies they need to help any veteran that walks through the door and needs help with any of a variety of issues, including hospitalization, compensation, education, spousal benefits and housing, he said.

“It makes it much easier for the vets,” said Kohl, who noted he works a lot with Gold Star parents.

“We’re kind-of a well-kept secret for some reason, he said. “We’re chartered by Congress.”

To receive the group’s help, someone must be an honorably discharged veteran, whether wounded or not. More information about the Military Order of the Purple Heart can be found online at www.purpleheart.org or at any VA hospital.

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