By Jarid Watson
WASHINGTON — As morbid as it may sound, there is a market for military-issue Purple Heart medals. These medals can fetch thousands but the Military Order of the Purple Heart is working on making this practice illegal.
“Purple Heart recipients and I think anyone who ever lost a buddy in combat find it offensive that Purple Hearts are being bought and sold as commodities when they are tied to service members who were killed in action,” said Aleks Morosky, the MOPH Legislative Director.
According to Morosky the “Private Corrodo Purple Heart Preservation Act” will end the sale of Purple Hearts. The bill was initially presented to Congress in January by Rep. Paul Cook, a veteran, and two-time Purple Heart recipient himself.
“On the practical side, this will also make it easier to get those Purple Hearts returned to their rightful owners which are the families and the veterans who they were awarded to,” said Morosky.
He goes on to say another issue is that because there is a market for Purple Hearts, thieves have begun stealing them during home robberies.
There is already a law preventing sale of the Medal of Honor. Morosky points to that law as an example that this legislation will work – eliminating a market for these medals that were earned in blood.
“So, we’re not against the collectors market, and we do think a lot of them have a legitimate interest in history…we have Purple hearts that were donated by families to MOPH, but we publicly display them. I think in a lot of private collections they end up hidden.” Morosky added, “And really what the bill would do is it wouldn’t prevent anybody who owns a Purple Heart from keeping it. It would just be illegal to sell.”