Viewpoint 2/ The Guardian , a civilian enter- prise newspaper, is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army. Contents of the Guardian are not necessarily official views of, or en- dorsed by, the U.S. Government, De- partment of Defense, Department of the Army or Fort Polk. The Guardian is published weekly by the Public Affairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. Printed circulation is 13,000. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage with- out regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user or patron. A confirmed violation of this policy of equal opportunity by an ad- vertiser will result in the refusal to print advertising from that source. All editorial content of the Guardian is prepared, edited, pro- vided and approved by the Public Af- fairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. The Guardian is printed by the Natchitoches Times , a private firm in no way connected with the Depart- ment of the Army, under exclusive written contract with Fort Polk. The civilian printer is responsible for com- mercial advertising. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts and supplements, does not constitute en- dorsement by the Department of the Army or the Natchitoches Times of the products or services advertised. Guardian Editorial Staff Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk commanding general Col. Jarrett Thomas II Garrison commander Kim Reischling Information strategies officer Chuck Cannon Editor Jean Dubiel Angie Thorne Staff writers Editorial Offices Building 4919, Magnolia Street Fort Polk, LA 71459-5060 Voice (337) 531-4033 Fax (337) 531-1401 Email: Kimberly.Reischling@us.army.mil Trading post ads: email@example.com Fort Polk Homepage http://www.jrtc-polk.army.mil Advertising For advertising contact (337) 404-7242 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org FORT POLK, La. —Wednesday is National Purple Heart Recognition Day. The Purple Heart has a long history and is the oldest American military medal. It is a different medal than most — it is the medal no one wants to earn. It is not awarded for bravery or heroism — it is awarded for sacri- fice, and recognized by most military veterans as the national symbol of sacrifice. Sadly, many Americans do not know the significance or meaning of the medal. The Purple Heart Medal is awarded to those who have been wounded or killed in com- bat. Purple Heart Day is an unoffi- cial holiday and commemorates the creation of the Purple Heart Medal in 1782 by General George Washing- ton. Originally known as the Badge of Military Merit, it was initially awarded to three Revolutionary sol- diers in 1783. When the Revolutionary War end- ed, the Purple Heart faded into ob- scurity until 1932, when the medal was revived on the bicentennial an- niversary of George Washington’s birth. Purple Heart Medals were retroactively awarded to those wounded or killed while serving in the United States armed forces in World War I due to enemy action on or after April 5, 1917. Since then it is estimated that about 1.8 million Pur- ple Hearts have been awarded. It is the most intricate and expensive medal in the inventory. Purple Heart Day recognizes those that have made a sacrifice they were prepared to make, but, like me, never wanted or expected to make. On this day I reflect on the Purple Heart Medals I have pre- sented to those in my charge, and pass my respects to those still with us and those who work with me now that have earned the medal. The day is a painful re- minder of my own mistakes and the mortality of even the best trained. Fort Polk Soldiers need no re- minding of the significance of this medal. Past recipients are in their ranks, and the next recipients are as well. Last year while fueling up at the gas station on post, a Soldier from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, was driving by with loud music. I just looked at him when he drove by. He stopped, turned down his mu- sic, got out of his car, told his friend to get out, and walked over to me. I was thinking, oh great, my stoic face has gotten me in trouble again. In- stead, the Soldier politely said, “Sir, I noticed your purple heart tag. We wanted to thank you for your service and sacrifice.” I stammered a reply of “thank you, but it is not necessary, it doesn’t take much, just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” He replied smiling: “No sir, no disrespect, but I don’t see it that way, have a great day.” He turned around, collected his friend, got back in his car and drove off. He was a young specialist and took the time to say that to me. I was grateful, humbled and impressed. I am sure this Soldier is a great ambassador for Fort Polk outside the gates. So, I am asking you, the reader, to be that ambassador as well. When you see a Purple Heart tag down- town, take the time to say something to the owner. It costs nothing, and to those no longer affiliated with the military, it will be extra special. It will let them know their extended Army family — that once took care of them — still cares about them. Then I ask that you tell the story of what the Purple Heart is to those that don’t know what it means. Louisiana, like many other states, offers quite a few benefits as a sign of respect for those who have earned the Purple Heart. One of these bene- fits is a free, no renewal required, registration and license plate. Well worth it and a very generous gift. Whether here or your next duty sta- tion, if you have earned this medal, ask — you may be surprised. Aug. 7 recognizes those wounded defending nation By Retired Lt. Col. MARK S. LESLIE DPTMS chief, Plans and Operations Please see Heroes , page 5 In our view Guardian staff asked Fort Polk residents, “What's your favorite way to spend a three-day weekend?” Here are their responses: Sgt. Avery Bon- homme: "I am final- ly stationed close enough to home — Sugarland,Texas — to see my family there on three-day weekends." Spc. Rebekka Har- ris: "Traveling. One of my favorite trips so far has been to New Orleans." Pvt. Riley Marsh: "Me and my Family like to go to nearby towns because we're from Alaska and everything is new to us here." Guardian Aug. 3, 2018 Pfc. Triston Wal- ters: "I'm from Lake Charles, so I like spending time fish- ing with my family there." Commentary Leslie For advertising contact Theresa Larue il: l t f rt l r i .