WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (WDTN) – Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has joined the Purple Heart Trail community as the first active-duty Purple Heart Base.

A public designation ceremony at the National Museum of the United States Air Force commemorated the moment at 10 am on Tuesday at Carney Auditorium.

Col. Thomas Sherman, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, read and accepted the proclamation.

The Purple Heart is derived from a military merit award established by Gen. George Washington in 1782. As the oldest American military decoration in use, it serves to honor combat service members who have been wounded, killed, or died from an injury sustained during military operations while on a peacekeeping mission outside of the United States and its territories.

Randy Howson, Purple Heart Trail Coordinator for the state of Ohio, was a guest speaker at Tuesday’s event, which was free and open to the public.