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In Branson, Missouri, where honoring veterans,active duty military and their families is a passion, another event honoring them is not surprising. What is surprising is the uniqueness of the “Hand-in-Hand Branson Honors Purple Heart Recipients” event, the sponsorship of the event, and that all of the events scheduled activities are free to Purple Heart Recipients.
At the Jan. 17 public announcement Branson’s new “Ozark Mountain Spring,” Marlyce Stockinger, Director of Advertising and Public Relations, Branson.Com, announced that Branson.Com, a private business, was sponsoring the “Hand-in-Hand Branson Honors Purple Heart Recipients (Hand-in-Hand” event to be held on Apr. 24 and 25. Hand-in-Hand, while continuing Branson’s proud heritage or honoring its veterans and active duty military personnel, is presented to specifically remember and honor the sacrifices of those who have been wounded in action in the defense of our country and have received the Purple Heart.
Stockinger said that all the scheduled activities of the Hand-in-Hand event, from the opening ceremony on Apr. 24 in the Hamner Barber Theatre to the inspirational “Mountain Majesty Twilight Ceremony,” to be held at Branson Landing on Apr. 25, will be free to Purple Heart Recipients participating in the event. She highlighted some of the activities and pointed out that a full list and schedule of activities could be found on Branson.Com.
She said the speaker for the Apr. 24 Opening Ceremony is scheduled to be Col. Hemant Thakur, M.D., an expert on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD. On Apr. 25 there will be a fishing tournament at Table Rock Lake from 8:00 a.m. to noon and the “Hand in Hand” Entertainment Show at the Hamner Barber Theatre from 2:00 p.m. to 4 p.m. A unique and inspiring “Purple Mountain Majesty Twilight Ceremony” will be held at the Branson Landing from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. featuring guest speaker Sergeant Major Tony Rose (ret). Sergeant Major Rose is a 9-11 Pentagon survivor and Purple Heart Recipient.
Stockinger explained the fishing tournament on Table Rock Lake will cost the participating Purple Heart Recipients nothing. All the guides involved have volunteered their time, boat, gas, tackle etc. She said that the state of Missouri has even waived the fishing permit fees for the Purple Heart Recipients fishing in the tournament.
Although its history can be traced back to George Washington, the Revolutionary War and “The Badge of Merit,” in terms of current history and practicality, the “Purple Heart” dates back to regulations established in 1932. Currently the Purple Heart may be awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who, after Apr. 5, 1917, have been killed or wounded in action against an enemy of the United States. Because of the decentralized manner in which the Purple Heart was awarded through the Korean War there is no actual count on how many Purple Hearts have actually been awarded.
Click here for addtional information or schedule changes for the "Hand-in-Hand Branson Honors Purple Heart Recipients" event or call 417-334-2360.