Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Granbury receives ‘Purple Heart City’ designation

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Granbury has a new designation following a unanimous decision from the Granbury City Council Tuesday night.

Through the efforts of local veteran Kolton Krottinger, Granbury has now officially become a Purple Heart City.

“The purpose of being a Purple Heart City is to express gratitude to the sons and daughters of our community who were either wounded or killed in combat defending the freedoms enjoyed by all Americans,” Krottinger told the Hood County News. “There is no criteria for meeting the designation.”

The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration presently in use and was first created as the Badge of Military merit by George Washington in 1782.

According to the city’s proclamation, the Purple Heart was the first American service award of decoration made available to the common soldier and is specifically awarded to any member of the United States Armed Services wounded or killed in combat with a declared enemy of the United States.

The mission of the Military Order of Purple Heart — chartered by an Act of Congress — is to foster an environment of goodwill among the combat wounded veteran members and their families, promote patriotism, support legislative initiatives and most importantly — make sure we never forget.

According to Krottinger, there are more than 900 Purple Heart locations in the United States, honoring the 1.6 million Purple Heart recipients.

"This is a nationwide organization,” City Manager Chris Coffman said during the city council meeting. “To be able to say you're a Purple Heart City, they’ll put you on what they call a Purple Heart trail. We already do a lot of things for our veterans here, and Kolton said that's already recognized. I also wanted to recognize that Hood County is already a Purple Heart County, but I really felt like this was such a special event that the whole council needs to vote to offer this official proclamation."

Coffman explained that the designation will include the implementation of four signs positioned at the entryways into the city on the main highways.

"Logistically, the way we need to work through that is work with TxDOT to get a permit to put a sign up with the proper breakaway pole that they require, and Kolton has offered to pay for the Purple Heart signs themselves,” he said. “We need to figure out how to fund the others. We can do that with the street department in the coming months. But I do need to offer this up as an item for consideration for the council."

“I'll just say I've had an opportunity to speak with this young man and kind of watched all the activity that he's got going on, and this is his heart for this,” Mayor Pro Tem Steven Vale said. “He's got a real passion for this, and I just appreciate all that you do here in the county and the city. It's a special service that he provides, and it's a real need that exists out there. Again, he has a real passion for this, and we just really appreciate you.”

The proclamation states that the city of Granbury has a considerable population of highly decorated military members, active duty and retired, as well as Purple Heart recipients, or their relatives, living in the community. The city also appreciates the sacrifices that the Purple Heart recipients have made in defending our freedoms and believe it is important we acknowledge them for their courage and show them the support they have earned, according to the proclamation.

"The city of Granbury wishes to pledge its strong support to the Military Order of the Purple Heart and for those who put their lives at risk in service of their country and their fellow citizens,” Mayor Jim Jarratt said, reading the proclamation.

Place 4 Councilmember Gary “Skip” Overdier then made a motion proclaiming Granbury a Purple Heart City through the Military Order of the Purple Heart organization. Place 2 Councilmember Eddie Rodriguez seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

“This is an honor,” Krottinger said. “Thank you, Mayor, thank you, Council. I think everybody up here has supported everything that we've been doing, and I wish my grandfather was here. He was a Purple Heart veteran and a prisoner of war, so thank you.”