President Donald Trump honored wounded service-members on the 236th anniversary of the Purple Heart, the White House said in a Tuesday release.
“We honor the members of our Armed Forces for serving as the vanguard of American democracy and freedom around the world,” the statement said. “Their devotion to duty and love for this country ensure each new generation may enjoy the blessings of liberty, peace, and prosperity.”
“I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier” than serving in combat, Trump said of the award two years ago at an August 2016 rally in Virginia. Trump made the remark while accepting a Purple Heart as a gift from veteran Lt. Col. Louis Dorfman.
The Badge of Military Merit, also known as the Purple Heart is “awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action,” according to purpleheart.org.
It was established by General George Washington on Aug. 7, 1782, because Washington was “ever desirous to cherish virtuous ambition in his soldiers,” according to Mount Vernon‘s website, and it is the oldest U.S. military decoration still in use.