The Purple Heart is unique among military awards, in that the criterion for the award is very objective: You must be wounded during action with an enemy of the United States.
While clearly an individual decoration, the Purple Heart differs from all other decorations in that an individual is not "recommended" for the decoration; rather he or she is entitled to it upon meeting the specific criteria.
You who are recipients of the Purple Heart are indeed a special group of American veterans. There is nothing we can add to that award; it stands by itself. I started Milwaukee County's Purple Heart Pass (PHP) program in 2013 as a way to recognize that award by granting Wisconsin's Purple Heart recipients a free pass to some of Milwaukee County's world class attractions.
The six Milwaukee County founding attractions, named on the back of the pass, were unanimous in their consensus. There were no meetings, no cost-benefit analysis, no fact finding, no debate. A few emails and a phone call or two, and all agreed that Milwaukee County would recognize and honor your service and sacrifice.
Since the original six attractions, others have joined the program.
The Pass will continue indefinitely and those who received cards with expiration date of December 31, 2014, can ignore that date. The PHP allows free admission year round for the passholder +1 guest to:
- Harley-Davidson Museum*
- Milwaukee Art Museum*
- Milwaukee Public Museum*
- Milwaukee County Zoo*
- Discovery World*
- Boerner Botanical Gardens & Mitchell Park Domes*
- Neville Public Museum
- Brown County NEW Zoo
- Green Bay Botanical Gardens
- Green Bay Gamblers games
- Blizzard football games, Brown County Golf Course (9 holes/season)
- Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame (starting summer of 2015)
- Highgrounds Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville, free tours to the passholder and guests.
- Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, free admission year-round to the passholder and one guest.
- Elmer's Auto and Toy Museum in Fountain City, free admission to the passholder and one guest. (The museum is open weekends only, May thru September)
We are always in communication with other venues throughout the state, encouraging them to join us in honoring our Purple Heart veterans.
The Milwaukee County Veterans Service Office (MCVSO) will administer the pass, verifying eligibility through military service records. Purple Heart Veterans can contact MCVSO Director Jim Duff via phone (414.266.1235) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on obtaining a pass.
Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Executive