An August dinner is planned to honor Purple Heart recipients from Craven, Pamlico and Jones counties, with an invitation extended early for those who want to attend.

An August dinner is planned to honor Purple Heart recipients from Craven, Pamlico and Jones counties, with an invitation extended early for those who want to attend.
The 5 p.m. dinner will be Aug. 6 at New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, a project of the Coastal Carolina Purple Heart Chapter.
“We began this effort about nine years ago after finding out so many Purple Heart recipients have never been recognized — nor thanked — for the sacrifices they made in battle,” said chairman Michael Johnson.
The chapter is putting the word out early to assemble as many recipients as possible, Johnson said.
“Most Purple Heart recipients are not members of local chapters, and thus we need to reach out to the community and ask families, friends, churches and civic organizations to please let us know if they are aware of Purple Heart recipients they would like to see honored,” he said.
Purple Heart dinners occur across the state, with New Bern being the seventh city to host. Johnson said each event has averaged more than 900 people and 92 Purple Heart honorees.
The event also will honor and recognize the families of deceased Purple Heart recipients and Gold Star Mothers.
“Our Grand Sponsor Wal-Mart pays for the Purple Heart recipients and two guests,” Johnson said. “They also pay for our other honored guests such as Gold Star Mothers.”
Johnson said the chapter sees this as a historic event in the lives of those honored.
“This will be the first time many Purple Heart recipients have been thanked outside of their families,” he said.
The recipients do not have to speak and will be introduced via a “Walk of Honor,” where they will enter the dinner through a saber salute, will receive a gift and then will be escorted to their tables.
The Coastal Carolina Purple Heart Committee is comprised of about 40 community, military and civic organization leaders, who have met weekly to organize this effort.
Forward contact information for Purple Heart recipients or Gold Star Mothers to ccpurpleheartdinner@gmail.com
Sponsorships and volunteers can also email that address.
The chapter is on Facebook: Coastal Carolina Purple Heart Dinner
Anyone from the general public who would like to attend can call 649-3033 for information.
 
Charlie Hall can be reached at 252-635-5667 or 252-259-7585, charlie.hall@newbernsj.com , on Twitter @CharlieHallNBSJ