Purple Heart


I have had the pleasure of working with a client who wanted to do something special for the members of the Military Order Of The Purple Heart, Beirut Chapter #642. 

Her father had been a recipient of the Purple Heart and was honored by them as they performed his funeral services and cared for his family in their time of need?   Every detail was covered as the members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart cared for even the smallest need of the family of their fellow Marine. 

She wanted to give them something special as a thank you, and she allowed me the opportunity to be part of that process. She wanted me to make something they could use in the Memorial Day ceremony at the Montford Point Military Cemetery. 

I had a month to develop the design, have it approved, laser cut, construct and painted.  Not a small task, when you realize there is no room for error in missing the delivery date.

Well, I set out looking at about a dozen photos and drawings of the Purple Heart.  It was actually interesting to find out the facts of the medal itself.   The design came from George Washington and even has his family coat of arms in the center between the ribbon and the medal. 

My task is to make a design that is an artistic rendering, not an exact model of the piece.  It was to stand 30 inches tall an d12 inches wide.  I started identifying the most important aspects, isolating them, and then developed a way of layering the design to give it the 3D effect.  As I was working I also considered the paint scheme and how it would work to compliment the design.  I determined the parts and the paint and sent the design off the laser cutter. 

After several panic inducing delays, I was concerned and started to worry about the delivery date.  After several phone calls and an overnight shipment, the parts arrived, and the race was on again. 

I welded the threaded rods to the pieces and started the painting, knowing full well that I would be in trouble if the paint reacted wrong or if the design didn’t go together correctly. 

Well everything went as planned, and I think it turned out great. 

I got up early on the morning of delivery and made photographs for my portfolio.  I then delivered it to the client so I could experience her reaction.  And that is where the true reward comes in.  To see the look on her face was worth all the worry and rushing.

I hope she will be proud when she delivers it to the Purple Heart Veterans so it can be part of the Memorial Day ceremony. 

And somewhere in heaven both of our Marine fathers are looking down …and smiling.


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