When I see the fifty stars and thirteen red and white stripes, I think of all the sacrifices made by men and women in uniform to build this country up.  From the Revolutionary War to War on Terror, these servicemembers, across different generations and walks of life, had one goal: to defend our nation.

It did not matter their gender, color of their skin or their socioeconomic background - all gave some and some gave all for our country.  Some have sacrificed life and limb for our freedoms, and the nation marked their stories with Purple Hearts.

During my time in Walter Reed Medical Center, I had a chance to meet men and women who had suffered catastrophic injuries even more serious than mine, but they did not let their injuries define who they are.  What every Purple Heart recipient has in common is not what they have lost, but the resolve that they have.  It was what inspired me throughout my recovery, and continues to inspire me to this day.

Today is National Purple Heart Day.  It’s a day we remember the nearly 2 million Americans who fought from the coastline of Normandy to the mountains of Hindu Kush and earned the Purple Heart.  It’s the day we honor those whose stories include tremendous sacrifice.  We are grateful for their resolve and we will not take their sacrifice for granted.