DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – — A parking space was dedicated to Purple Heart Medal recipients in the parking lot of the Exchange Feb. 4th.
One of six active duty members on base who have received the Purple Heart, U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Robert Disney, 48th Rescue Squadron superintendent, spoke during the dedication ceremony.
“This parking space is about fulfilling President Washington’s decree,” said Disney. “While a seemingly small token of appreciation, it should not be overlooked that the space sits in a position of highest esteem: directly across from the Gold Star parking space, nearest the door, and closer than the chiefs, colonels, wing commander, and yes, even the 12th Air Force commander’s parking space.”
It’s the oldest medal to be awarded in U.S. history, and only given to those who have been wounded by an instrument of war or who have died during combat.
In 1782 Gen. George Washington gave the order to establish the Badge of Military Merit, and was originally awarded only to enlisted members. However, after the revolutionary war it was forgotten, until Washington’s 200th birthday when it was reinstated and renamed the Purple Heart Medal.
The idea for the Purple Heart recipient parking space was inspired by the Gold Star parking space dedication.
In October of 2015, the parking space for Gold Star recipients was established.
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kurt Lugar, 355th Maintenance Group first sergeant, worked with Master Sgt. Justin Mitchell, 355th Civil Engineering Squadron dorm management superintendent and organizer for the Gold Star dedication, to establish the Purple Heart recipient space.
The event was concluded with the unveiling of the parking spot sign.
“A parking spot is a parking spot, and a sign is a sign,” said Lugar. “It’s completely insignificant to what the Gold Star and Purple Heart recipients had to go through. But it’s one small way for us to show them and our community that we support them.”