News: A home away from war: Texas veterans calling all Purple Heart recipients
Story by Sgt. Ida Irby
EL PASO, Texas - The honored organization, now known as the Military Order of the Purple Heart, is calling all combat wounded personnel to join the nationwide team of more than 45,300. Formed in 1932, the Lone Star Chapter 393 of the MOPH is the oldest chapter in Texas and provides mutual interest for all combat wounded veterans who have received this unique decoration.
Each year, soldiers bravely venture into combat and the number of Purple Heart recipients grows by the hundreds. The MOPH extends assistance to all soldiers dealing with veterans claims, homelessness, and job placement.
Retired Sgt. Major Thomas Melgares, MOPH Adjutant, welcomes the community to join MOPH. “Purple Heart recipients, young and old, are invited to join the group where members promote patriotism, the preservation of America’s military history, fraternalism, and assistance to all veterans.”
Melgares, a native of Alamosa, Colo., hopes to double the membership this year. With approximately 200 members currently in El Paso’s Lone Star chapter, he mentioned that each member adds to the quality of community support.
According to Melgares, members volunteer selflessly in the community by donating time and resources to the Salvation Army, Opportunity for the Homeless, Rescue Mission for El Paso, Texas, hospitalized Veterans and Veterans Transition House.
Members meet the first Saturday of each month. Associates hoping to become a member are encouraged to join the group March 2, at Partida Hall, Benavidez-Patterson 82nd Airborne Division Chapter, 2608 Fort Blvd., El Paso, Texas. In attendance, fellow Purple Heart veterans, ranging from World War II to the present, are available to meet with the community.
Soldiers awarded the Purple Heart Medal who are not dishonorably discharged are eligible for active membership in the MOPH of the U.S.A. The Associate Membership in the MOPH is available for relatives of Purple Heart recipients to include: a spouse, parent, sibling, or lineal descendant.
The Lone Star Chapter 393 is pleased to welcome all Purple Heart recipients in Fort Bliss, El Paso County, and southern New Mexico. For more information, contact the chapter commander at 821-3880.