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Calling All Purple Heart Recipients!

By Summer Chandler

If you received a Purple Heart, stand and be recognized at the Lone Survivor game on Nov. 9.

A Lubbock-based community group is looking for 500 Purple Heart recipients to honor during the Lone Survivor game on Nov. 9. The group – comprised of local business leaders and some Texas Tech athletic officials – wants to recognize all Purple Heart recipients in the West Texas/Eastern New Mexico region at the game.

“The recipients will be seated together at the game and will be acknowledged during halftime. We have some other things in the works like a banquet for the Purple Heart recipients and Vietnam veterans,” Danny Koch, spokesman for the group, said.

Commander John Murdock, who heads up the Lubbock chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and a Purple Heart recipient himself, said they are trying to find as many service members as possible to recognize at that game.

“Our organization helps all veterans, but specifically for this game I am verifying all of the Purple Heart recipients and those who can’t afford to come to the game, we’re paying to set them up in a hotel. We’ve also received $1,000 to bring vets at the Veterans Hospital in Amarillo to the game,” Murdock said.

Recipients of the Purple Heart are service members who received wounds in combat and Murdock said even though Purple Heart recipients are the smallest group in the military – and they want to stay that way – it’s important to honor the individuals who have given so much for their country.

The game, which has been designated the “Lone Survivor Game,” will be a tribute to all active duty members and veterans of the U.S. military.

Ryan Van-Dusen, director of the Texas Tech Military and Veterans Program, said that while his office is not directly involved with the events at the Lone Survivor game, his office appreciates the work being done by the group.

“Texas Tech has established a strong tradition of honoring our veterans,” Van-Dusen said. “This kind of recognition is a great way to pay tribute to our veterans.”

Purple Heart recipients who want to participate in this salute can register at the group’s website, salutingheroes.org.