OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma will be designated as a Purple Heart State beginning November 1st thanks to legislation signed into law recently.  Navy veteran, Sen. Frank Simpson said he authored Senate Bill 232 to give Oklahoma’s Purple Heart recipients the recognition they deserve. 

            “The Purple Heart is the oldest military award given to those U.S. military members who are wounded or killed while serving our country. There is no greater sacrifice and no greater recognition for those brave men and women who sacrificed so much,” said Simpson, R-Springer.  “There are no words to express our gratitude or recognition of such great sacrifice. Becoming a Purple Heart State, however, shows the world the immense pride and gratitude our citizens have for the 1,340 Oklahoma recipients of this hallowed award. May God bless them and their families.”

It is estimated that around two million Purple Hearts have been awarded by the U.S. Military since World War I. The Purple Heart is given to U.S. military members in the name of the president to those wounded or killed while serving since April 5, 1917.  The Purple Heart is different from most military awards and decorations as individuals are not “recommended” for the decoration but rather are entitled to it.  

Rep. Tommy Hardin, a Marine veteran, served as the principal House author of SB 232, which passed both legislative chambers unanimously.

            “Oklahoma has a tremendous military heritage, and it’s important that we honor our military members’ service and sacrifice, especially those who are wounded or lay down their lives for our country,” said Hardin. “With this designation, the service and sacrifice of Oklahoma’s Purple Heart recipients will never be forgotten.”

            SB 232 will go into effect November 1, 2019.