By David Fleet
Ortonville-After more than a year, a stretch of M-15 will be designated as the Purple Heart Trail.
The bill, now Public Act 543 of 2018, was introduced on May 22, 2018 and signed by Gov. Snyder in December, prompting Ortonville VFW Post 582 to order two 6 feet by 2 feet road signs from the Michigan Department of Transportation to be installed later this summer at the village limits along M-15.
The signs cost $2,035 each and Ortonville VFW 582 Commander Dennis Hoffman said funds are still needed for the project.
“We need some help to keep the project going,” said Hoffmann. “The designation is an honor for the community is now the only one in Oakland County with a registered section of highway for the trail. Thanks to efforts of Rep. Reilly and many others the trail is now an established reminder of the sacrifices our veterans have made for our country.”
The Village of Ortonville became a Purple Heart Community on Aug. 1, 2016. The M-15 section will be from the village limits north and south.
“The Purple Heart Trail is a visual reminder to honor our military members who have been awarded the Purple Heart Medal,” said State Rep. John Reilly (R-District 46), who introduced the bill. “Here in Ortonville, we salute a record 72 Purple Heart recipients. Their range of military service includes World War II, Vietnam, Korea, and the Persian Gulf.”
On Tuesday night the Ortonville Masons donated $500 toward the project.
Hoffman spearheaded the Purple Heart project and researched local recipients over the past 150 years.
Included in the Purple Heart community are: five Purple Heart recipients from the Civil War; three from World War I; 32 from World War II; four from the Korean War; 28 from Vietnam, one from Iraq and two from Operation Enduring Freedom. Contact VFW Post Commander Dennis Hoffman (248) 627 1065 for donations.
By David Fleet