Warren County

Warren County certified as Purple Heart County

By Jack Underwood, Staff Writer
Posted 6/25/24

Warren County is now officially a Purple Heart County.

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Warren County

Warren County certified as Purple Heart County


Warren County is now officially a Purple Heart County. The proclamation was issued in the County Commission chambers during their meeting on June 13 with an audience of local veterans and Purple Heart recipients. 

The Purple Heart medal is awarded to military service members who were injured or killed in the line of duty. The proclamation also recognizes Gold Star Families, who lost a family member during their military service. 

Presiding Commissioner Joe Gildehaus was proud of the recognition they were able to provide to local veterans. 

“The county is recognizing Purple Heart recipients,” Gildehaus said. “The veterans are the most important thing.”

He also remarked that Warren County was one of the few remaining counties that had not yet issued a Purple Heart proclamation and hoped that soon Missouri would join North Carolina as the only other state in the nation to have each county recognized as a Purple Heart County. 

After Thursday’s proclamation there are only eight remaining Missouri counties that are not Purple Heart Counties. 

Along with the proclamation, the county has received two “Purple Heart County” signs, which Gildehaus said they plan to display on the county lines on Interstate 70. He hoped the signs would be installed soon. 

Walt Schley, a past state commander for the Missouri Military Order of the Purple Heart, was in attendance at the meeting to recognize the county and deliver a plaque recognizing their efforts. 

“The main function is to honor all the Purple Heart recipients,” Schley said. “And then also our veterans, and especially any Gold Star family members, they’re the ones that really had that toll.”

Among the roughly 30 veterans in attendance for the meeting there were several members of the Tribute to Veterans Memorial Committee as well as Johnny Tracy, a three-time Purple Heart recipient and Beth Vincent, a Gold Star Family recipient. 

Tracy, who served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970, said he was proud of his medals and said “it means I’m alive. 

“I was proud to stand strong for this country,” Tracy said. 

Vincent is a member of a Gold Star family. Her father was killed in the line of duty as a pilot during the Korean War when she was eight. 

“It’s not just about me, it’s about all Gold Star families,” Vincent said, of the ceremony. “It’s really a special day for those living and for those who received it posthumously, like my dad.”

Warren County, Purple Heart