Purple Heart Day

By Ventura Tounsel

Please take some time on August 7 to reflect on Purple Heart Day, an observance created to commemorate the men and women who have been killed or wounded during military service.

As Peter Bedrossian, program director of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, notes: “It is important to say, ‘thank you’ to those who served and who sacrificed.”

Why August 7?

On that day in 1782, General George Washington created the Badge of Military Merit. Congress had put a moratorium on promotions in the Continental Army due to a lack of funds; the commander-in-chief created the award to honor enlisted men deserving of recognition.

The award (which had the side benefit of allowing the recipient to pass guards as if a commissioned officer) was “a figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk edged with narrow lace or binding.”

After the Revolution, though, the award was all but forgotten until Douglas MacArthur revived it in 1932 when he was Chief of Staff of the Army.

He changed its name to the Purple Heart and expanded its scope to include receiving wounds because of enemy action.

MacArthur put in his own application a few months later for injuries he sustained in World War I.

When the Legion of Merit was created 10 years later, the meritorious service criterion was dropped for the Purple Heart, keeping only the requirement of being wounded or killed in battle.

Those WWII years created a heavy demand for Purple Hearts – over 1.5 million were manufactured, many of them intended for the planned invasion of Japan. When the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki made the invasion unnecessary, approximately 495,000 were left on hand.

Remarkably, the medals created for the Greatest Generation were used for generations to come. The specific criteria for receiving the Purple Heart regarding who is eligible and under what circumstances – has changed over the years, but the surplus physical decorations themselves were still given to wounded soldiers in Korea and Vietnam, right through to those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you are a Purple Heart recipient, we would love to meet you. Please email me at al109commander@gmail.com.

Did You Know:
August is Drowning Awareness Month?

By Charlotte Herdliska

Drowning Awareness was first introduced by News 4 Tucson’s “Lifesaver” campaign in 2009.

Remember the ABC’s of Water Safety:
A – Adult Supervision — Always Always, Always
B- Barriers to water – Barrier fencing with self-closing/self-latching gates
C- Classes – CPR and Swim Lessons.

For more information and learning opportunities go to:
https://www.library.pima.gov click on children’s safety zone or go to: https://childrensafetyzone.com

Monsoon, is here! Here is some good advice that most of you have heard before – sadly some don’t really believe. Fire Departments get calls every year for swift water rescues, and very serious motor vehicle accidents. Un-necessary loss of life from rain/water related accidents has increased.

Did you know?

It takes less than six inches of water to carry your motor vehicle downstream.

Most Swift Water Rescue calls occur in low to no light conditions. The water is more difficult to see when it’s dark out and hitting a running wash can be very dangerous, please slow down.
As little as a half inch of rain fall can cause flooding.

In our area of Corona de Tucson we become an Island, when it is raining hard. It is especially dangerous when it is raining hard East of Houghton Road. It may not be raining at Houghton, but the washes run westward and crosses Houghton Road with a lot of water and speed. Please wait until the rain has stopped and the roads are open. It is not unusual to get 1 inch or more of rain in a very short period of time – and that will cause some very serious flooding, but it is usually short lived, and the roads re-open an hour or so after the rain stops. Even if it is raining gently the washes may become a river and you need to be extra careful when going through the water that crosses Houghton Road. Watch out for sand bars, rocks and other debris that can damage your car and or cause you to loose control. Also PLEASE be considerate of the oncoming vehicles when going through water.

Turn around don’t drown is a real thing.

Please contact your local Fire Department

FM Charlotte Herdliska Corona de Tucson Fire Department (520) 762-9370

Meet Linda Gasho Lawson,
Corona Cares Volunteer

By Lisa Larivee, Communications, Corona Cares

Linda Lawson was born in Phillipsburg, Kansas. Her father, a pipefitter/welder moved the family all over the United State for work. She attended 27 schools before graduating from high school. Linda married John Gasho in Biloxi, Mississippi, he was in the Air Force, and they had four children.

Linda and John moved to the family ranch at Wilmot and Andrada where they raised their four children. All of her children attended school in the Vail School District, three graduated from the U of A. Her children are all grown, she has two sons living in Corona de Tucson, one daughter is a teacher in San Diego, and her other daughter passed away following a cancer diagnosis.

Linda and her husband divorced in 1981. She met her second husband, Randy Lawson, and moved to Arkansas on a 16-acre farm raising cows and chickens. Linda worked as a window builder and then on to an estimator for commercial buildings. In 2001, when her mother was diagnosed with dementia, Linda and Randy moved to Gulfport, Mississippi, to care for her until her passing.

Linda lived in Gulfport when Hurricane Katrina landed; luckily there was no damage to their home. At that time, she was battling two types of cancer at the time and was scheduled to have surgery three days later in New Orleans. All the bridges were out, there was no water or electricity in the area, and she ended up in Las Vegas for surgery. She now has been cancer free for 16 years.

In 2009, Linda and Randy moved back to Corona de Tucson to be close to her children. They bought an acre in Rancho and built a home. After Randy’s passing Linda remained in the home and now her son and granddaughter reside with her. She has eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Linda has three dogs, two of which she adopted when the owners had to give them up, she also has two cats and a flock of chickens.

Linda became a Corona Cares volunteer after finding a brochure at the Roadrunner Market. She was instrumental in organizing a grief group in CdT and helped to keep it operational after the facilitator was reassigned. She currently provides transportation for Corona Cares recipients.

Linda is a member of the Old Spanish Trail Church of Christ and a member of American Legion Post 109 auxiliary where she helps out during the Fellowship Day. She hosts a weigh-in group that formed at the beginning of the pandemic. She is a quilter, likes to play cards and dominoes, and assemble jigsaw puzzles in addition to reading and traveling.

Meet Marion Stout
Corona Cares Recipient

Marion Stout was born in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, where she grew up, married, and raised her family. Her husband was in the Army Air Corps and worked for the railroad, Marion was a head bookkeeper for a bank. She and her husband had two children, a son who passed away at a young age from leukemia and a daughter. When Marion’s husband retired, they moved to Florida to join her other family members. She was involved in and loved quilting, completing jigsaw puzzles, and reading.
Marion’s granddaughter Kara attended the University of Arizona on a full gymnastic scholarship. After graduation she married and stayed in Arizona, she and her husband bought a home here in Corona de Tucson.

When Kara’s father, Marion’s son-in-law retired he and Marion’s daughter also moved to Corona de Tucson. After Marion’s husband died, Marion relocated to Corona de Tucson where she currently lives with her daughter and son-in-law. She joined the Newtowners group and through them became involved in Corona Cares and Fellowship Day at the American Legion. She continues her jigsaw puzzles and reading. She stays in touch with family and friends in Pennsylvania, Florida, and elsewhere either by phone or cards, sending two to three cards a week.

In June 2021, Marion celebrated her 90th birthday. All of her friends sent special birthday cards and best wishes, and her church friends from Pennsylvania sent her a card shower to celebrate this special day.

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