This article appeared in the May 2018 issue of the Georgia's Cities newspaper.
Hogansville Councilmember George Bailey described the city’s new Purple Heart City recognition as an “expression of gratitude on behalf of the ‘City of Friendly People’” to honor the sacrifices made by combat veterans.
This recognition, which is presented by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, was not only a proud moment for the city, but a personal one for Bailey, who spearheaded the Purple Heart City application process.
“I am a Gulf War Veteran and saw my share of combat throughout my service. After moving to Hogansville from Newnan about 10 years ago, I joined American Legion Post No. 152 where I was appointed to organize the annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day events for the city,” he said.
The Hogansville City Council unanimously approved the resolution for the Purple Heart City recognition.
Bailey also credits the motivation behind this movement to the “Public Presentations and Meet the Media” training class he attended during GMA’s Annual Convention in Atlanta this year.
“As a church pastor, I consider myself to be well-rounded in public speaking but found myself captivated by the different public speaking techniques taught by the instructor [Amy Henderson, GMA’s director of communications and marketing.],” he said. “Each member of the class was challenged with a homework assignment to use what we learned and make a public presentation that would garner support for a specific initiative.”
Getting the council on board was made easy with support from the community.
“Several Purple Heart Veterans in our community approached me to see if the mayor and council would consider designating Hogansville as a Purple Heart City. Mayor Bill Stankiewicz is a Navy veteran and he was very enthusiastic when I approached him about the idea.”
Bailey then made a formal presentation during a city council meeting where members of the American Legion Post 152, and Vietnam War Veteran and Purple Heart recipient Leon Dyes attended. The Hogansville City Council unanimously passed the resolution to become a Purple Heart City. The official declaration will be unveiled at this year’s Memorial Day Celebration in Hogansville.
The Military Order of the Purple Heart was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the decoration. Composed exclusively of Purple Heart recipients, it is the only veterans service organization comprised strictly of “combat” veterans.
To learn more about the organization and to apply to be a designated Purple Heart City visit, www.purpleheart.org.