WASHINGTON -- A new postage stamp commemorating the Purple Heart, the nation's oldest military award, was released Friday by the Postal Service.
First-day of issue ceremonies were held at Mount Vernon, the suburban Virginia estate of George Washington, who ordered the Purple Heart in 1782.
The 37-cent stamp features a photograph of a Purple Heart awarded in 1968 to James Loftus Fowler, a Marine lieutenant colonel, who served in Vietnam.
Originally a "badge of distinction for meritorious action," the Purple Heart now is awarded to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded or killed in action.
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