TEMPLE - Texas Legislature designated Monday August 7 as Purple Heart Day, and a local Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW) post started a tradition to honor local Purple Heart recipients.
Saturday morning, VFW Post 1820 honored six wounded veterans for their service.
It was an opportunity for the Temple community to say 'thank you.'
"Some gave their all, some gave were wounded, and it's our job as a nation to honor them," VFW Post 1820 Commander Richard Best said.
Each of the six wounded veterans were honored with a certificate, a purple rose, and public recognition from the community.
For some recipients, the recognition has become more common.
"At Denny's restaurant... it's been five or six times... they've paid our ticket," William Keith Dodd, Purple Heart recipient, said.
For others, the sting of coming back from war without support still lingers. Purple Heart recipient Ron Davis said Saturday's event helps those scars heal.
"Particularly to Vietnam veterans like I am, the response we got back was not very positive," Davis said. "When you are older, you appreciate the recognition."
Davis hopes the visual of people coming out and sitting next to wounded veterans will help other veterans who are in a similar situation.
"It changes your perspective in life, makes you look at things differently," Davis said.
VFW Post 1820 said Saturday was the group's first time hosting a Purple Heart Day, and hope to host more in the future.
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