2018 National Convention
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Spokane, WA, August 9, 2018
National Conventions of the MOPH and MOPHA Conclude with Election of Patriot Douglas Greenlaw as National Commander and Diane Petrini as National President
The 86th Annual Convention of The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) and the 85th National Convention of the MOPH Auxiliary (MOPHA) concluded on Friday, August 3 in Spokane, WA with the election of new officers for the upcoming year. Patriot Douglas J. Greenlaw, a combat wounded veteran from Greenville, SC was elected as National Commander. Elected as National Senior Vice Commander was Patriot Felix Garcia, a combat wounded veteran from Sugarland, TX, and Patriot Richard A. Cherone, a combat wounded veteran from New Berlin, WI was elected as National Junior Vice Commander.
Elected as President of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Auxiliary was Diane Petrini of San Diego, California. Elected as Senior Vice President was Cheryl Perez of Chula Vista, California and Amanda Flener of Fitzgerald, Georgia was elected as Junior Vice President.
Among the highlights of this year's Convention, was the opening address by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, who welcomed the Purple Heart recipients, Associate Members, and Auxiliary Members to Washington, and informed the convention delegates about services recently enacted and those planned for Veterans in the State of Washington. Other distinguished speakers included David Condon, Mayor of Spokane, WA, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos, Director of Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, and the HON. Donald M. Benton, Director of the US Selective Service System. During the Convention, MOPH National Service Officers presented skits that portrayed a number of difficult issues facing Veterans in their VA Claims.
The election of Patriot Greenlaw, who is the recipient of the Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars with Valor Device, and 2 Purple Heart medals for his action during the Vietnam War, brings a vast knowledge and experience in Media Management and Venture Capital Finance to the position of National Commander. Upon assuming leadership of the Order, Patriot Greenlaw said, "I cannot put into words the honor it is to be elected by my peers as the National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, representing our Country's Combat Wounded, Purple Heart Recipients. The Purple Heart, our Nation's oldest military decoration, first presented by General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, is the most meaningful Military Medal to me. I am honored to help the Order march into a challenging future and complex culture as we continue to assist our country's military veterans every day."
Speaking to the Convention, the newly elected Senior Vice Commander, Patriot Felix Garcia, a combat wounded Veteran of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said "I am honored to be given the privilege of serving in the leadership of such a great organization of Veterans, each of whom gave his or her blood for our Nation's freedoms." Patriot Richard Cherone was elected as National Junior Vice Commander and upon taking the oath of office, Patriot Cherone said, "I am honored that I was given the vote of confidence by the membership to help lead the Order. I am looking forward to a productive year as I work closely with the membership and the National Commander."
Upon her election as President of the MOPH Auxiliary, Diane Petrini said, ""I am honored and humbled to be elected the National President of the MOPHA. The MOPHA is a wonderful organization and we all joined for the same reason...to support our Patriots. I look forward to working with our members throughout the nation as we strive to become more family-oriented and meet the needs of our members and Patriots. My goals for next year include reaching out to both our Senior Heroes as well as our post-9/11 veteran families."
Patriot Larry Leighton, Adjutant of the Department of Arizona was named the "MOPH Patriot of the Year." As a US Army Artillery Forward Observer in Viet Nam, he was wounded during a night assault on December 12, 1970 and was awarded the Purple Heart. After more than 28 years of service, he retired as a Colonel on June 30, 1996. Patriot Leighton is actively involved in the Military Order of Purple Heart and now serves as Adjutant of the Department of Arizona and is an active member of MOPH Arizona Chapter 691. In 2012, his dedicated service to the community in which he lives and the veterans he serves, was recognized when Patriot Leighton was named Grand Marshal of the Phoenix, Arizona Veterans Day Parade.
Patriot Justin Burdette, a combat wounded, double amputee from Palm Bay, Florida, was presented the keys to a Ford F-150 truck that made a 7,800 mile trip across America as the 2018 Purple Heart Truck Run. There to accompany Justin as he received the truck was his wife Beth and son Cory. Justin was also the driver of the truck for the first two week leg of the trip and had previously driven in the 2017 Purple Heart Truck Run. For the past 3 years, the trucks were donated to MOPH by the Wounded Warriors Family Support Foundation.
The organization now known as the "Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) of the U.S.A. Inc." was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the decoration. Chartered by the Congress, The MOPH is unique among Veteran Service Organizations in that all its members were wounded in combat. For this sacrifice, they received the Purple Heart Medal.
For information contact:
National Public Relations Director
Military Order of the Purple
Heart, 5413 B Backlick, Springfield, VA 22151