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Tucson Purple Heart recipients work to support others this Veterans Day

Arizona Veterans' Memorial Cemetery at Marana
Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 21:54:02-05

MARANA, Ariz. (KGUN) — Dozens of American flags have been installed at the Arizona Veterans' Memorial Cemetery at Marana to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

"We decided, we'd been raising money for live veterans, why don't we do something to honor the veterans who have died?," said Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 442 Commander, Mike Dyre.

Chapter 442 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart decorated the cemetery with red, white and blue on Wednesday. Each chapter member earned a Purple Heart for the time they served.

"We want people to know that we honor all veterans, not just purple heart recipients," said Dyre.

Chapter 442 raises money to help veterans who are struggling and advocates for them year-round.

"We've raised over $600,000 to pay for problems that veterans in this area are having. We've helped out a lot of veterans with money and we're continuing to do so. That's our goal," said Dyre.

Dyre said the pandemic has made it more difficult to connect with veterans in need, but knows many are out there. Possibly, more than ever.

"We help people who are going to be evicted, have car trouble and women with kids that can't get a job," said Dyre.

Chapter 442 also unveiled on new monument at the cemetery on Wednesday. It's a reminder to all those who served that they have support in Southern Arizona.

"I want to thank the people of Tucson and Southern Arizona for their support. Whenever I'm wearing something that says 'veteran', I constantly get thanked for my service. That means a lot," said Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 442 Senior Vice Commander, David Bertagnoli.