Tester makes Purple Heart Memorial more user-friendly

Senator calls for Montanans to submit more names to expand Billings memorial

(BIG SANDY, Mont.) – Standing alongside members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart in Billings, Senator Jon Tester this week unveiled a new way for Montanans to easily locate the names and service information of veterans listed on Montana’s Purple Heart Memorial.

Tester and Order of the Purple Heart member and memorial organizer Jerry LaFountain on Thursday showed off a kiosk in the lobby of the Yellowstone County Courthouse that holds the service information and memorial location of more than 6,000 Montana Purple Heart recipients listed on the memorial.

The kiosk is a simple and interactive touch-screen database that searches for the placement of names on the memorial. Users can locate the granite panel and the line number on which a Purple Heart recipient’s name is engraved.

Tester, Montana’s only member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said the kiosk will help ensure that Montanans never forget the sacrifices made by the state’s veterans.

“What we have here is a reminder,” Tester said. “A reminder for everyone who comes here about the folks who have sacrificed for our country, and another reminder of the obligation we have to these folks to give them the benefits we promised them and they have earned.”

Tester also asked Montanans to submit the names of more Montana Purple Heart recipients who are not listed on the memorial. Their names will be engraved on the next expansion of the memorial. Names and service information of Montana Purple Heart recipients can be submitted on Tester’s website at tester.senate.gov/purpleheart.cfm

The Military Order of the Purple Heart is made up of men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat. The medal is awarded to service members who are wounded by enemies of the United States.

Tester, whose office often helps veterans and their families receive proper benefits or lost service medals and recognitions, recently presented a Vietnam veteran with the Purple Heart Award Certificate and six other decorations that were 45 years overdue.

More information on how Tester can help military families and veterans is available on his website at tester.senate.gov/Resources/index.cfm