A bill designed to honor those veterans wounded in service to their country passed unanimously out of the West Virginia House of Delegates and is now pending approval from the state Senate.
House Bill 4127, which is being sponsored by Lewis County Delegate Peggy Donaldson Smith, would declare Aug. 7 of each year as "West Virginia Purple Heart Recognition Day." It would not be an official state holiday, and it would correspond with the national day.
"I wish I had taken a picture of that beautiful green screen on the chamber's giant roll call board with not a single (negative) vote on it," Smith said. "I wish to thank all veterans for their service to our country, and with this bill, I hope to extend special recognition to veterans who have been wounded or killed in action."
Smith said the idea first came to her after speaking with Jim Wyant, a Purple Heart recipient from Weston. Troy Varney, the past commander of the West Virginia Order of the Purple Heart, spoke to a legislative committee about the bill.
"I am in hopes that the bill will quickly be brought before and passed in the Senate," she said.
The bill is pending before the Senate's Military Committee.
"I don't think there is anything that would hold this bill up," said Linda Longstreth, a Marion County delegate and military veteran who heads up the House's Veterans Affairs Committee. "I think it is a good bill."