Military Order

 of the

Purple Heart

 

    Texas Capital Chapter 1919

   Austin, Texas

 

 e-mail:  or,  call (512) 343-7940, Milt Carr, Adjutant

 


   

THE PURPLE HEART TRAIL

 

 

Background Information

 

The Purple Heart Trail was established in 1992 by the Military Order of the Purple Heart to be a symbolic trail throughout all 50 states to commemorate and honor all men and women who have been wounded or killed in combat while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Purple Heart Trail has also been implemented in Puerto Rico and Guam.

 

Texas Trail

 

The Texas portion of the national Purple Heart Trail was designated as that part of Interstate 35 located in Texas, and made official by Acts of the 79th Texas Legislature that became effective September 1, 2005.  Markers designed, constructed and erected by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) were entirely funded by donations raised by San Antonioís Alamo Chapter 1836 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.  That Chapterís Patriot Tony Roman (who was also then Chief of Staff for Department of Texas, Military Order of the Purple Heart) headed a team that quickly secured donations providing all the original costs of the project.  Most of the funding came from a single corporate sponsor.

 

A ceremony establishing the portion of Interstate 35 in Texas as the Purple Heart Trail, the first Purple Heart Trail in the state, was conducted on Saturday, September 3, 2005 at 10 a.m. in Laredo, Texas. State Senator Leticia Van de Putte (District 26) sponsored the bill (SB678) to establish the Purple Heart Trail in Texas.

 

Other than it taking a while for all the signs to be put up at selected locations on  I-35 between Gainesville on the Red River and Laredo on the Rio Grande, nothing much changed until 2011. Two additional segments were added to the Texas Purple Heart Trail  by the 82nd Texas legislature upon their passage of Senate Bill, SB-1311, which was then signed into law by Texas Governor Perry on June 17, 2011, bearing an effective date of September 1, 2011.  Those two segments are I-40 across the Texas Panhandle; and the major route from San Antonio to South Padre Island (that portion of I-37 from its intersection with I-35 in San Antonio, to State Highway 77 near Corpus Christi, then following 77 south to State Highway 100, and then Highway 100, to Park Road 100, and Park Road 100 on South Padre Island).  Again, the Military Order of the Purple Heartís local San Antonio Chapter (largest in the nation) took on the task of raising the funds.  Commander Manuel Soto, Adjutant Bill Johnson, Patriots Robert Weber and Raymond Venezie were part of a team headed by James Ramsey that secured a donation of the entire amount needed for both segments from a single contributor, Haven Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. (also principal donor in 2005 for the initial trail). Patriot Bill Crumlett did all of the coordination with TxDOT, including transfer of the $25,212 required for the signs for these two segments, as he had also done for the original project in 2005.

 

The segment to South Padre Island:  A dedication ceremony was held at Port Isabel in January 2012 officially recognizing the opening of that segment.  At this posting, most of the remaining marker signs (sufficient to be spaced at intervals no greater than 100 miles) for both of the added segments are in process of being completed.  In the coming days and weeks, dedication ceremonies will be conducted at Corpus Christi, San Antonio and for the I-40 segment in Amarillo, and the signs will soon become a familiar sight along those roadways.

 

More about the I-40 segment across the Texas Panhandle:  Interstate-40 spans the nation from North Carolina to California and all the other states along that route have previously designated their segments of I-40 as a Purple Heart Trail.  So, now the Purple Heart Trail I-40 across the Texas Panhandle completes the last link in that coast-to-coast national Purple Heart Trail.

 


 

The Texas Trail

(Purple Outline)

 

Updated 4-22-2012