Purple Heart Ceremony held for Technical Sergeant Douglas G. Smits.
The Purple Heart Ceremony for TSgt Douglas G. Smits was held today, 5 January 2018, the fifth year anniversary of Tech. Sgt. Matthew S. Schwartz, a 90th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance technician, who was killed in action while deployed to Afghanistan Jan. 5, 2012.
United States Senator John Barrasso, presented TSgt Smits with a flag that has flown over the White House. United States Congressman Liz Cheney, thanked TSgt Smits not only the sacrifices he has made for this country, but thanked his family for their dedication as well.
Letters were read from United States Senator Mike Enzi who said, “You have given one of the greatest sacrifices for changing the world. Thank you.”
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead also provided a letter saying, “We asked you to go into harms way. You did, and you returned. Thank you.”
The crowd then heard from Colonel Stacy Jo Huser, the story of what TSgt Smits went through to earn him this honor of merit.
Col. Huser then presented TSgt Smits with his medal. After a moving presentation, TSgt Smits spoke a few words and gave many thanks stating, it’s God, Country, and Family. Lastly, he gave additional recognition to TSgt Schwartz and asked that him and his family be remembered on this day for the sacrifice he made five years ago.
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Featured image provided by Stephan Pappas
The Purple Heart is one of the most recognized and respected medals awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces. Introduced as the “Badge of Military Merit” by General George Washington in 1782, the Purple Heart is also the nation’s oldest military award. In military terms, the award had “broken service,” as it was ignored for nearly 150 years until it was re-introduced on February 22, 1932, on the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth. The medal’s plain inscription “FOR MILITARY MERIT” barely expresses its significance.