Purple Heart Veterans Honored As Fleet Week Begins in New York

Miguel Moreno
By Miguel Moreno
May 23, 2019New York

NEW YORK—The Parade of Ships Breakfast, honoring recipients of the Purple Heart medal, was held on May 22, above the Battery Garden Restaurant in Manhattan.

Guests and servicemen of different military branches overlooked the Navy ships pouring into the harbor, marking the beginning of New York City’s Fleet Week.

Fleet Week is an annual tradition where Navy ships dock and make the deck a space for civilians and servicemen to mingle. The 31-year-old tradition has sought to build trust between the military and civilians.

During the event, Douglass Greenlaw—a veteran of the Vietnam War and recipient of two Purple Hearts—received another award for his leadership and contributions to recipients of Purple Hearts.

“Well, I don’t deserve this award,” said Greenlaw, holding the purple glass dolphin, ” but I will accept it on behalf of the Military Order of the the Purple Heart (MOPH).”

Douglass Greenlaw receives the WVI Dolphin Award
Douglass Greenlaw receives the WVI Dolphin Award in Manhattan, on May 22, 2019. (Shenghua Sung/NTD News)

Greenlaw was hurt twice in Vietnam: The first injury was minor, but he said he’s lucky to have survived the second one.

Since then, besides serving as the former president of MTV, he joined MOPH: an organization in support of recipients of the Purple Heart.

Interview with Douglass Greenlaw
Interview with Douglass Greenlaw in Manhattan, on May 22, 2019. (Shenghua Sung/NTD News)

“I’m lucky to be alive. I’m happy to be here representing Purple Heart recipients across the country,” said Greenlaw.

He is the first to be awarded the Wealth and Values Initiative (WVI) Dolphin Foundation Award. WVI’s mission is to channel funds raised to charities that support Veterans and align with Dolphin culture.

Fleet Week Makes Way for Recognition

Another special guest was Jack Jacobs: a veteran of the Vietnam War, a recipient of two Purple Hearts and a Medal of Honor.

Jacobs told NTD News that the event was primarily for veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice. Thanks to Fleet Week, he said, people are reminded of America’s servicemen.

Interview with Jack Jacob
Interview with Jack Jacobs on May 22, 2019. (Shenghua Sung/NTD News)

“Most Americans don’t know anybody in uniform, and one of the things Fleet Week manages to do, is to demonstrate to a big city like this—eight, nine million people—that there are young men and women out there who are defending them right now,” said Jacobs.

Fleet Week has been an annual tradition in New York since 1984. And until May 28, New Yorkers have the opportunity to board Navy ships or join servicemen in maritime events.

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