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Camp Lejeune dedicates new Purple Heart Memorial

By Alison Parker
Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:48:49 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 11 2013 04:35:04 PM CDT
CAMP LEJEUNE, ONSLOW COUNTY -

A Purple Heart Memorial was unveiled and dedicated Friday morning aboard Camp Lejeune.

"There's a constant reminder that what they did, what the medal means, that they earned, and the fact that they have a lot of us that have gone before them out there who appreciate that," said Grant Beck, commander of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

MOPH is the organization that donated the nearly $7,000 monument.

The memorial is close to the Wounded Warrior Battalion-East headquarters building. Its location is significant because Wounded Warrior Battalion-East is officially in charge of providing non-medical recovery care to wounded, ill and injured Marines.

Wounded warrior Lt. Col. Tim Maxwell says one of the strongest forms of healing is teamwork.

"Togetherness, them being friends and being a team is much better than spending time alone," Maxwell said.

Beck says those who have received Purple Hearts feel more like a brotherhood.

"Those of us who have served in the Marine Corps in particular consider ourselves a band of brothers, and within that band of brothers is an even smaller band of brothers -- those of us who have received the purple heart through wounds suffered in combat," Beck said.

Maxwell says the memorial is a reminder to support one another.

"Rather not have received [the Purple Heart] myself, but if you're going to get one, you better be surrounded by other guys with the same problems and work together to solve them," Maxwell said.

More importantly, Maxwell says an injury, whether it's on the inside or outside, shouldn't define your life.

"Their injuries doesn't mean it's over," Maxwell said. "Their life isn't over. They can improve and do different things and make changes."