Linton Florist to deliver honor on Purple Heart Day

Friday, August 4, 2017

Greene County Purple Heart recipients, as well as widows or widowers of recipients, will be given the gift of a half-dozen red roses this Monday, National Purple Heart Day, by local business Sha’e Lynn/ A Place Called Home.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), formed in 1932 and chartered by the United States Congress in 1958, is made up of men and women who have received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat.

The Purple Heart Medal, created Aug. 7, 1782 by General George Washington, was then known as the Badge of Military Merit, and was awarded to three Revolutionary War soldiers in 1783.

At current estimates, according to MOPH, about 1.8 million Purple Heart Medals have been awarded since then, to military personnel who are wounded or killed as a result of enemy action, display bravery and valor as prisoners of war and while fighting certain types of domestic terrorists.

An unofficially observed holiday, Purple Heart Day is a day to express our gratitude to our active duty military and military veterans, especially those who have earned the Purple Heart Medal.

Local florist and gift shop, Sha’e Lynn/ A Place Called Home, have created the honorable and unique gift in order to celebrate and thank Purple Heart Medal recipients on National Purple Heart Day.

“We are very proud of our veterans here,” said Sha’e Lynn’s Terry Davis. “This is one of two or three holidays through the year we do something special for.”

Sha’e Lynn is co-owned by Air Force veteran Kevin Theroff and Army veteran David Davis, and Davis’ late father was a Purple Heart recipient.

“We are spreading the word through our Facebook and any way we can,” Davis said.

The business intends to find as many Purple Heart recipients as it can, and will go the extra mile to do so.

“Recipients or their spouses can come in Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and we will also deliver,” Davis added. “If they cannot make it on Monday, we will honor the offer Saturday as well.”

On Monday, Sha’e Lynn plans to deliver the gift to Purple Heart recipient Bill Fiscus, who earned the medal during a tour of duty in Korea. Fiscus is a resident of Linton’s Autumn Trace Assisted Living.

Fiscus enlisted at age 19, and spent three and one-half years overseas during the Korean War serving as a medic.

The incident which earned him the Purple Heart Medal is recalled by Fiscus with humor, and he remembers it like it was yesterday.

“They sent us up to the front because there was a wounded soldier in a rice paddy and we needed to get him out of there,” Fiscus said. “It was me and three other guys. He was stuck in a rice paddy that was drawing heavy fire from the enemy, they were up on a hill. We got close to him, and the bullets were coming thicker. I told the guys with me to take cover under a ledge, and I took the lead and went and got the wounded soldier, and I was hit. Hit right in the butt,” he said with a grin.

Fiscus took six months to recover from the bullet, which came to rest one and one-half inches above his navel.

“It felt like I had been hit with a baseball bat,” he said.

He was awarded his Purple Heart Medal with little to no fanfare, while still hospitalized.

“Honestly, I was a bit disgusted,” he said. “The chaplain just came in and handed it to me. No words, nothing. I sent it to my mom.”

Brian Romans of the Romans Warrior Foundation was pleased to hear of Sha’e Lynn’s plans for Purple Heart Day.

“It’s heartfelt, providing a simple gesture to those who have served, come under fire and received injuries for us. Hats off to Sha’e Lynn for offering flowers, each one says ‘I appreciate you,’ each one says ‘thank you’.”

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