Multiple generations of military veterans came together last Tuesday to make a contribution to the current generation of active-duty military personnel in Sumter. Chapter 817 of the Gen. George L. Mabry Jr. Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart gathered at the weekly Diamond Council meeting to donate $2,000 in Walmart gift cards to Shaw Air Force Base in support of Operation Warm Heart. Operation Warm Heart is a nonprofit at Shaw whose mission is to care for airmen and their families. The Diamond Council, consisting of first sergeants from Shaw, distributed the gift cards to airmen in need of assistance, according to Don Kellum, public affairs officer for the local Purple Heart chapter. According to financial officer Dave Nesbitt, there are 37 members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, with a few additional associate members to include Mayor Joe McElveen. While members are required to be recipients of the Purple Heart Medal, associate members can be of direct lineage of a recipient. Guests at the meeting reflected on his or her times of service. It was noted that including combat pay, a service member in Vietnam made about 41 cents per day, according to the Rev. Callie Bunyea. Pictured are members of the Purple Heart Chapter and Shaw Air Force Base Diamond Council.
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