Valdosta Daily Times

March 29, 2014

Valdosta Regional Airport designated first Purple Heart airport in the nation

Stuart Taylor
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — It’s not every day you get to see history made, but a signing ceremony at the Valdosta Regional Airport Friday afternoon made it the first designated Purple Heart Airport in the United States.

Bestowed by the local chapter the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the award recognizes the airport’s “recognition and support of America’s veterans, and those wounded or killed in combat.”

“The Purple Heart chapter got in touch with us,” said Jim Galloway, airport general manager. “We wanted to be the first.”

Chapter 1000, the local military order of the Purple Heart based out of Tifton, covers the southern half of Georgia, “from Macon down to the state line,” said Warren Scoby, a Purple Heart veteran and an adjutant with Chapter 1000.

The group is designating 100 cities, counties and/or airports within its region with Purple Heart recognition.

The order’s work is multifaceted, striving to obtain Veterans Administration benefits for veterans, getting together volunteers to serve hospitalized veterans, awarding scholarships to Purple Heart recipients and their families, and working on Capitol Hill to voice its concerns for veterans and the

military.

In May, the Order will sponsor a 5k in Valdosta, with the proceeds going to help homeless veterans and veterans in need.