Lawrenceburg to become a 'Purple Heart City'

Posted at 9:53 PM, Sep 25, 2015

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. — Lawrenceburg is now a Purple Heart City.

What does that mean?

A city is given the distinction by the Military Order of the Purple Heart to commemorate cities that have decided to recognize its veterans that have been wounded in battle.

Lawrenceburg City Council voted to do just that, and now will honor three of the city’s veterans in a ceremony.

SFC Adam Dye, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and now works as a U.S. Army recruiter, is one of the men who will be honored.

He said he was filling in on a mission when he sustained his injury.

“Small arms fire, RPG’s, things like that,” he said. “Shrapnel hit me in the back.”

That was when, he said, he ducked into a home to take cover, where he found a young boy, the same age as his son, who got caught up in the middle of the battle, also injured.

Even as he was wounded, Dye was saving another’s life.

“I kept him from bleeding out, basically,” Dye said. “I actually managed to save his arm.”

P.G. Gentrup, a volunteer with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, said such recognition is particularly remarkable in the area.

“It’s very important to people here in southeastern Indiana,” Gentrup said, “because for too many years the guys and the gals in the military were pretty well shunned, especially when we cam back from Vietnam.”

But now, Dye — along with Vietnam War veterans Andy Ziegler and Mel Taylor — will receive a plaque thanking them for their service.

For Dye, while he appreciates the gratitude, the recognition feels a bit… awkward.

“I do appreciate it,” Dye said. “It’s just not something we shoot for when we put on the uniform.”

Instead, he’s glad, despite his injury, to continue to serve his country.

The Purple Heart City ceremony will take place in downtown Lawrenceburg, Friday night at 7 p.m.