Purple Heart postage stamp honors veterans’ sacrifices

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service continues to honor the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the U.S. military with the issuance of the new Purple Heart Medal Forever stamp.

First issued as a 37-cent First-Class stamp in 2003, this new Forever Stamp differs from the 2011 Forever Stamp design displaying a slightly larger image of the Medal on a pure white background.

Available nationwide today in sheets of 20, the stamps can be purchased online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724).

The date and location of the special dedication ceremony will be announced at a later time.

“The Postal Service salutes America’s veterans for their selfless sacrifice in defending our great nation,” said Stamp Service Manager Stephen Kearney. “We hope Americans will buy and use these Forever stamps when corresponding with loved ones and friends to honor these courageous men and women, who in many cases gave the ultimate sacrifice.”

 

World’s Oldest Military Decoration

The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded or killed in action. According to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization for combat-wounded veterans, the medal is “the oldest military decoration in the world in present use and the first award made available to a common soldier.”

Established by General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, the badge of distinction for meritorious action — a heart made of purple cloth — was discontinued after the war. In 1932, on the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birth, the decoration was reinstated and redesigned as a purple heart of metal bordered by gold, suspended from a purple and white ribbon. In the center of the medal is a profile bust of George Washington beneath his family coat of arms.

Customers may view the Purple Heart Medal Forever Stamp, as well as many of this year’s other stamps, indicate which stamps they like and vote for their favorite stamp on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, through Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for background information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

 

How to Obtain the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

Purple Heart Medal Stamp
Special Cancellations
PO Box 92282
Washington, DC 20090-2282

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by Nov. 5, 2012.

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