Medford Purple Heart recipient to be honored in New York, plans to continue advocating for Veterans

MEDFORD, Ore — A Purple Heart Veteran will be representing Oregon in this year’s Purple Heart Patriot Project ceremony in New York.

“I was proud to wear the uniforms,” Rupp told NBC5 news. “I’m proud to say I’m a Veteran.” 

U.S. Army Captain Lawrence “Larry” Rupp received a Purple Heart following two tours (1968-1971) serving in Vietnam. Its the United States’ oldest military medal – honoring Veterans that have been wounded or killed during battle.

Rupp was drafted in 1966 when he was 20-years-old. He began his career at Fort Ord, which used to be an Army base at Monterey Bay, California. The base closed in 1994 and is now a National Monument.

About a year later while in the Army, Rupp elevated in rank from Recruit to Second Lieutenant.

“My motto was to treat everybody like I want to be treated,” Rupp said. “That helped me get through a lot of rough times.”

On January 7th, 1969, Rupp and his team were hit in a “rocket and mortar” attack. He was hit with explosives again during a separate attack two days later.

Rupp was hospitalized for weeks with shrapnel wounds, but he continued to serve as leader of one of the platoons when he was released.

Rupp joined Oregon State Police in Jackson County following his stint in the military. He was an officer for 35 years before retiring in 2010.

“The biggest thing I got left in my life is to keep advocating for veterans,” Rupp said. “That’s what I intend to do with the rest of my time.”

The all-expenses paid trip includes visits to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and a tour of the newly renovated National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.

“Larry and his fellow Patriot Project honorees are true American heroes,” said Richie Lay, a Purple Heart recipient and chairman of the National Purple Heart Honor Mission in a press release. “America’s Purple Heart veterans have given so much to defend freedom and that sacrifice must always be remembered. We are privileged to be able to provide this unique salute to service for our Purple Heart heroes.”

Rupp and other Veterans from across the country will be honored the week of September 27th.


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