The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor

Lois Schaefer

NORTH DAKOTA - The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor (NPHHH) located in New Windsor, NY is a New York state owned and operated facility. It offers visitors an incredible journey through military history as well as reminders of human sacrifices and the cost of freedom. The facility is not directly affiliated with nor governed by the federal government, military nor any other organization.  

The mission of the NPHHH is to build the nation’s first comprehensive Roll of Honor database of Purple Heart Recipients in all branches of service and for all conflicts for which the award was available, as well as to preserve and share the award recipients’ stories. At present, there is no comprehensive list of recipients. An individual’s awards and decorations are found in their personal military record. The Medal of Honor is the only award for which the Government does maintain a list of recipients.

William “Del” Alvord  from Bottineau is a member of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.

Two recipients from Bottineau are enrolled in the Roll of Honor: William “Del” Alvord and my father Everett Solper. You can view their profiles and those of other recipients at the NPHHH or on their website www.thepurpleheart.com. Del, while serving in the US Army in Vietnam, was hit by shrapnel in addition to both of his eardrums being shattered. He was handing a 50 caliber round up to the sergeant in the turret of an armored personnel carrier when the turret got hit by a rocket propelled grenade-RPG. Although the General handed out Purple Hearts at the Tokyo Hospital while Del was there recovering; somehow, he got missed. Del didn’t receive his Purple Heart until 2005 when a friend helped him submit paperwork for it. In August of 2017, he was featured on KX News for National Purple Heart Day. Everett served in the USMC in WWII and was wounded on Okinawa. As a Forward Observer, he was behind enemy lines directing mortar fire to destroy enemy emplacements, ammunition, etc. My father saw what he presumed was a Japanese soldier dressed in Marine clothing, as he knew he should be the only Marine behind enemy lines. As he laid down his automatic rifle (BAR) to take a closer look with his binoculars, he was shot by another Japanese soldier. Fortunately, he was able to kill both before they killed him.

Everett At Milne Bay.

               If you or someone you know, whether living or deceased, was awarded a Purple Heart, please take the time to get enrolled. There is no cost involved, no membership to join, just a little of your time. An estimated two million Purple Heart Medals have been awarded. The Roll of Honor database is comprised of 10-12% of the possible recipients who may have received the award since its creation in 1932. They NEED OUR HELP to collect and preserve this important and historic information. You can download the information and enrollment form at www.thepurpleheart.com or call 845-561-1765. If you need assistance, call me at 263-3136. Information and enrollment forms are also available at The Bottineau County Veterans Memorial Hall in Bottineau.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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