“Military Order of the Purple Heart” Joins Branson in Saluting Purple Heart Recipients

Military Order of the
Purple Heart .

During Branson’s Ozark Mountain Spring Festival of over 40 events currently being held, one unique event will seek to do that which has perhaps never been done before. The event, sponsored by Branson.Com, is called “Hand-in-Hand Branson Honors Purple Heart Recipients” and will be held on April 24 and 25. Its sole purpose is to specifically remember and honor the sacrifices of those who have been wounded in action in the defense of our country and have received the Purple Heart.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart is a unique congressionally chartered Veteran Service Organization whose members were wounded in combat and, for this sacrifice, were awarded the Purple Heart Medal. In an April 13 press release, the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) said it “is proud to announce its participation in the special salute to Purple Heart veterans by Branson.Com on April 24-25, 2009.”

The MOPH information stated that the salute will feature a wide variety of entertainment and events “designed specifically for combat wounded veterans, with free admission to all events.” It
went on to describe, in detail, the events that will make up the salute starting with Registration on Friday April 24 and ending with a “Purple Mountain Majesty Twilight Ceremony” at 6:00 p.m. on April 25.

“On Friday, April 24, beginning at 8:00 a.m. all veterans are encouraged to register at the Factory Merchants Mall, 1000 Pat Nash Drive. Registration is required to be eligible for the Saturday fishing tournament, admission to all planned events, and discounts at local merchants.

“At 2:00 p.m., the Opening Ceremony will take place at the Hamner Barber Theatre, Shepherd of the Hills Expressway. The ceremony will include a special program of music and comedy entertainment as well as a guest speaker, Colonel Hemant Thakur, M.D., an expert on PTSD. Military Order of the Purple Heart Vice Commander Clayton Jones and the Department of Missouri will take part in the opening ceremonies. The evening will be open to enjoy the many dining and entertainment experiences available in Branson.

“On Saturday, April 25, a fishing tournament will be held at Moonshine Beach (3778 South Hwy 165), from 8:00 am – Noon. Participant’s names will have been drawn from Purple Heart Recipients who registered at the Friday Opening Ceremony. At 9:00 a.m., The Purple Heart Parachutist, Dallas Wittgenfeld will free fall with the world’s largest American Flag parachute, at Chateau on the Lake, with the opportunity for photos, questions and answers. At 10:00 a.m., the Missouri Wine Festival opens at Chateau on the Lake, along side of Moonshine Beach. Purple Heart Recipients and one guest have been invited to attend the festival while waiting to welcome the return of the fisherman. Events include Wine tasting, artisan cheeses, chocolate, demos, and live entertainment.

“At 2:00 p.m., a special "Hand in Hand" Entertainment Show will take place at the Hamner Barber Theatre (Shepherd of the Hills Expressway). Many of Branson’s favorite entertainers and comedians will perform especially for the Purple Heart veterans. The show will include many surprises, and offer lots of fun for the participants and their families.

“At 5:30 pm, all Purple Heart recipients are requested to gather at the south end of Branson Landing for a special convoy to a candlelight ceremony. At 6:00 pm, this special weekend will conclude with a “Purple Mountain Majesty Twilight Ceremony” at Branson Landing (100 Branson Landing Blvd). The guest speaker for this event will be retired Sergeant Major Tony Rose, a survivor of the 9-11 Pentagon terrorism attack.”

The release specifically advised, “All interested participants are encouraged to visit the Bransom.Com web site [Hand in Hand Event Info] for any changes to the program. For discount shows and lodging please call 1-800-619-5708 or go to www.BransonTourismCenter.com.”

Marlyce Stockinger, Director of Advertising and Public Relations, Branson.Com, and the Branson.Com co-coordinator for the event, encourages the active participation of all Purple Heart Recipients, veterans and the public in the event. Stockinger encourages the public to turn out for the “Purple Mountain Majesty Twilight Ceremony” at Branson Landing on April 25 when they will have a chance to honor the Purple Heart Recipients and said she is available to answer questions or provide assistance by phone at 417-334-2360.