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All local military veterans who have received the Purple Heart Medal are asked to participate in a celebration of their service and a fundraiser for nonprofit organizations that honor veterans.

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The medal recipients are asked to visit Missouri River Regional Library, 214 Adams St. in Jefferson City, to sign each of 30 hardback copies of the book "For Military Merit: Recipients of the Purple Heart."

The book provides a brief history of the award and looks at recipients from all services. It includes recent recipients who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. The book also includes photographs of some of the recipients.

More than 1 million men and women have received the award since its creation in 1932. A combat decoration, the award is given to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who received wounds by instruments of war at the hands of the enemy. It is also awarded to next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or who die of their wounds.

The books are available for signing 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday, at the library. When the award recipients enter the library, they should approach the information desk and identify themselves as veterans who wish to cooperate. Library staff will ask them to fill out a brief form, providing their names, and describing their branches of service, rank, time in service and wartime experiences.

Beginning on Veterans Day (Nov. 11), the books will be available for purchase (for $100 each) at Samuel's Tuxedos and Gifts, 236 E. High St. in Jefferson City. Each book will come with an alphabetized list of the name, branch, rank and time in service of each Purple Heart recipients who has signed.

Proceeds from the sales are to benefit Central Missouri Honor Flight, which provides selected veterans with flights to Washington, D.C., to visit military service memorials, and to Operation Bugle Boy's Veteran's Appreciation Night. Operation Bugle Boy recognizes and honors veterans, soldiers and first responders. Each November, the nonprofit organization provides free dinners for about 500 military veterans and their families during its Veterans Appreciation Night.

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