Auburn honors vets with Purple Heart Trail

Auburn honors vets with Purple Heart Trail

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - As you travel into the City of Auburn, you may spot new sign along Glenn Avenue.

Auburn is one of the newest cities to adopt the Purple Heart Trail.

"We started recognizing, putting up signs in cities and towns to recognize all those who have been killed or wounded in all wars from the Civil War up until today," explains Leslie Digman of the Purple Heart Association.

A Purple Heart is awarded to a U.S. Military member if they have been killed or wounded in battle.

Digman brought the idea of the trail to a recent Auburn City Council meeting, being a veteran of multiple wars and a Purple Heart recipient himself.

"I was one of the unlucky ones, That is one award you actually don't want, but we have accomplished getting Opelika, lee County and Auburn to come and recognizing and putting up signs," says Digman.

The trail runs from Bent Creek Road traveling down Glenn Avenue to the Donahue Drive, passing the Auburn Veterans Memorial.

"Auburn is right between Fort Benning and Maxwell Air Force Base so we're right in the middle and we have a lot of people here that have served in the military and a lot of people you have made careers of service in the military," explains Auburn City Councilman, Dick Phelan.

The Purple Heart Trail was established in 1992 by the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

There are currently designated sections of the trail in 45 states as well as in Guam.

Vann Daughtry, another East Alabama veteran and Purple Heart recipient, is proud of the progress Alabama has made since it instituted the program less than a year ago.

"It means a lot. I didn't even know about the Purple Heart Trail until about three years ago when I joined the Purple Heart chapter of Montgomery, but since then it has really come a long way in the past year. Opelika, Lee County, Auburn, Troy State and now we are trying to get Auburn University to come on board with us. It's  a good thing and it makes me proud to be a veteran with a Purple Heart," expresses Daughtry.

There are 132 veterans that have received a purple hearts living in Lee County.

If you are a recipient and would like to join one of the Purple Heart Association Chapters you can contact Vann Daughtry at 334-332-1004.

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