Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register a Purple Heart Recipient?

With your help we are building a registry of Purple Heart recipients from all branches of service, all wars for which the Purple Heart was awarded, and from all across the nation. In order to verify receipt of the medal we request documentation. This can include a variety of materials including:

  • The DD-214 or other discharge forms listing awards
  • Medical forms
  • A photograph of the back of the medal bearing the recipient's name
  • Or other supporting materials.

We are also looking for photographs, telegrams, letters home, news articles or other materials that help put a face and a story with each recipient's name. Please complete the enrollment form and return to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor with proper documentation.

For Adobe PDF files, download Adobe Reader. Adobe Acrobat

Enrollment Form   Adobe Acrobat (547kb)

As a Purple Heart recipient, do you have to be a member of the Military Order Of The Purple Heart, to be in the Roll of Honor?

No, you do not have to be a member of MOPH to enroll in the Roll of Honor at the Hall. Enrollment is free.

How do I obtain DD-214 or other discharge papers?

To obtain a copy of the necessary documentation, please contact the National Records Center. If you are not a veteran or the next of kin, you must complete the Standard Form 180 (SF180). This form is available at National Archvies and Records Administration (NARA).

How many Purple Hearts have been awarded?

As there was not a consistent record kept since the award was established in 1932, we can only estimate the total number which have been awarded. At this time, it estimated that there have been 1.8 million Purple Hearts awarded. The award was first retroactive to those who received "wound chevrons" and "certificates of merit" during World War I as well as to those from earlier wars who chose to apply for the award. (From 1932-1942 recipients had to be living veterans or military personnel). The earliest conflict for which there are recipients is the American Civil War. From 1942 on it was limited to service men and women wounded or killed by enemy action. Records were sometimes lost during wartime when headquarters were overrun and unfortunately many were lost during a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in 1973.

Where is the National Purple Heart located?

The New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site in New York's Hudson River Valley is the setting for the Hall of Honor. Just sixty miles north of Manhattan and ten miles north of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Cantonment was an extensive military post housing some 7,500 soldiers and 500 civilian dependents in the closing years of the Revolutionary War. Officers met here in a chapel and meeting hall called the "Temple of Virtue" to review candidates for the Badge of Military Merit, the inspiration for today’s Purple Heart. In 1932, 138 veterans of World War I received some of the nation's first Purple Hearts on Temple Hill near the site of the "Temple of Virtue."

What is the "Roll of Honor"?

The Roll of Honor is a database created to preserve and present the stories of Purple Heart recipients. It can be accessed at eight interactive computer kiosks at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. Visitors to the Hall can learn about individual Purple Heart recipients by reading the stories, and looking at the photographs and other documents that have been submitted to the Hall of Honor. Registration is voluntary. If you are interested in learning more about the registration process please refer to "How do I register a Purple Heart Recipient?" above.

What is the "Roll of Honor Online"?

The Roll of Honor Online is an abbreviated online version of the Roll of Honor. You can use it to search for and learn about the Purple Heart recipients who have been enrolled with the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.

How do I locate a Purple Heart recipient in the Roll of Honor Online?

First select "Roll of Honor" from the links at the top of the page. Second, type the name of the individual you are looking for in to the first and last name boxes on the search page. Select the search button.

When the name appears on the screen, click on the last name. You will then have displayed a page on that recipient.

If you are unable to find the recipient you are looking for try varying your search: Conduct a search using the recipient's last name leaving out their first name. Then, look through the list of search results. Or, you might want to try alternate spellings of the name you are using for your search.

If you are still unable to locate the recipient you are looking for, are you certain that this recipient has been registered with the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor? For more information about registering at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, please refer to "How do I register a Purple Heart Recipient?" above.