Purple Heart Recipients Charter New Chapter for Military Order of the Purple Heart


Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. – Thirty-five Purple Heart recipients will make Fort Leonard Wood history by becoming charter members of the “Heart of Missouri,” Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 140, the first chapter the area has ever had.

When prior Military Policeman Joshua West and Master Sgt. Willie Bowman decided it was time to start a chapter in the Fort Leonard Wood area, they enlisted the help of Department of Missouri Chief of Staff Jim Young, and Department of Missouri Commander Carl Dietrich. The Military Order of the Purple Heart National Headquarters informed them that they would need 12 Purple Heart recipients to form a chapter. So far, more than 35 recipients have stepped forward, including Staff Sgt. Jamie Pearce and Mrs. Candace Pearce (prior military), the first husband and wife pair to be awarded the Purple Heart.  Command Sergeant Major Robert Wells, CSM of the Engineer Regiment, will be the new chapter’s first commander.


The Chartering Ceremony will take place in the Military Police Memorial Grove at 1:00 p.m., June 30.  MOPH National Vice Commander Clayton Jones, a Nixa Missouri resident, will be on hand to give the new Chapter its Charter, while Missouri Commander Carl Dietrich will swear in the newly elected officers.  The Ceremony  is open to the public and should last about an hour. 

Per United States Army Regulations, the Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after April 5, 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who has died after being wounded.  It is estimated that some 1,000 Purple Heart recipients live within a 50 mile radius of Ft. Leonard Wood.  All Purple Heart recipients from any conflict are eligible to join the Order. 

The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) is unique among Veteran Service Organizations in that all its members were wounded in combat. For this sacrifice, they were awarded the Purple Heart Medal. With grants from the MOPH Service Foundation, the MOPH and its Ladies Auxiliary promote Patriotism, Fraternalism, and the Preservation of America’s Military History. Most importantly, they provide comfort and assistance to all Veterans and their families, especially those requiring claims assistance with the VA, those who are homeless, and those requiring employment assistance.  MOPH volunteers provide assistance to Hospitalized veterans at VA sites and State Veterans Homes

For more information or if you are a Purple Heart recipient and wish to join the new chapter, contact Master Sgt. Willie Bowman at (573) 563-7198 or email at [email protected].   For additional information about the Military Order of the Purple Heart, visit www.purpleheart.org.



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