The Purple Heart is the oldest award given to United States military personnel. The first was given in 1917. It is an award that symbolizes exemplary sacrifice in the line of duty, and as such is awarded to people who were either wounded or killed in combat.
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Let’s take a look at some of the most famous recipients of the Purple Heart.
Charles Bronson: Charles Bronson was not only a bona fide Hollywood tough man for the ages, but he was also a recipient of the Purple Heart. Bronson, who had gone on to star in hits such as “The Magnificent Seven” and the “Death Wish” franchise, started out as part of the Army Air Corps before he became a tail gunner for a B-29 in World War II.
Kurt Vonnegut: Esteemed author Kurt Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in World War II. It was this experience that inspired him to come up with the story of “Slaughterhouse Five.” The book would go on to be his most popular piece of work. He was awarded the Purple Heart from being a frostbite victim.
Rod Serling: Sci-fi fans know the name of Rod Serling only too well. The creator of “The Twilight Zone,” Serling used memories from his experience in the Philippines fighting against the Japanese to come up with stories for his famous series. His group had one of the highest casualty rates in the war, thus earning him the Purple Heart.
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