BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Early this month, in one of the last acts of the 99th General Assembly, state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, joined his colleagues for a unanimous vote in the Illinois House of Representatives to pass Senate Joint Resolution 57, to designate Illinois as a Purple Heart State.

“There are men and women out there right now fighting for this county, and some of them may be wounded or give their lives for their country,” Hoffman said. “As a result, they’ll be awarded a Purple Heart for that sacrifice. What can often be overlooked are the things Purple Heart Veterans have to deal with after their military service.

Over 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded to service members and veterans retroactively dating back to World War I. In 2013, Ohio was the first state to adopt the designation as a “Purple Heart State” at the request of the Ohio Association of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Since then, these designations on state, county and municipal levels have been adopted throughout the country. The hope is that any place that takes up this designation will create a discussion about the Purple Heart and Purple Heart Veterans.

“Less than 10% of this country’s population has served in the military,” Hoffman said. “We can use this state designation to help raise awareness on what a Purple Heart represents and hopefully get the average American engaged on the issues these brave vets go through.

SJR 57 passed the House on January 10th with a unanimous vote of 114-0 from members on both sides of the isle. The resolution has now been adopted by both chambers and will go into effect immediately.

Rep Jay HoffmanRep Jay Hoffman

113th District

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