'For all the years growing up, that was one honor that he received that he never, ever spoke about,' said Mayor David Alfin, about his father's Purple Heart medal.
Mayor David Alfin revealed a personal connection to the Purple Heart medal, before reading the proclamation that told the history of the award, at the Aug. 2 City Council meeting.
“My dad received a Purple Heart many years ago for his service in Korea,” Alfin said.
When Alfin was growing up, a framed display of medals hung in the den in the family’s home. “One of those was his Purple Heart, and I can tell you, for all the years growing up, that was one honor that he received that he never, ever spoke about. I share that because I think that’s probably the case with so many of our veterans that have suffered in some way and been awarded a Purple Heart.”
Alfin then read the proclamation, which explained that the Purple Heart was established by George Washington in 1782, during the Revolutionary War. The medal was not awarded for 150 years until it was reinstated in 1932. Given to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who were wounded or killed in combat, about 1.8 million have been awarded in the country’s history.
Aug. 7, 2022, will be Purple Heart Day in Palm Coast, and the City Council encourages “all citizens to show their appreciation our Purple Heart recipients have made in defending our freedoms, to acknowledge their courage and to show them the honor and support they have earned.”
Charles Hanger, who was awarded a Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam from 1969 to 1971, was at the meeting to accept the proclamation. Hanger and his wife, Jennifer, have lived in Palm Coast since 1980; he is a service officer of the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 86. He also serves on the Flagler County Veterans Advisory Council.
He told Alfin at the meeting that he has seen a great increase in veterans services and charities. As of 2020, there were 12,000 veterans in Flagler County, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
He encouraged residents to reach out to veterans and ask them if they are aware of the services offered by the county. Visit https://www.flaglercounty.gov/departments/veterans-services.