New signs honor Purple Heart recipients in Portsmouth

They’re on East and West Main roads, Rte. 24, and the Mt. Hope Bridge

By Jim McGaw
Posted 6/28/22

PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth is a Purple Heart town, and has the signs to prove it.

The Department of Public Works recently installed four signs around town that proclaim “Purple Heart Town …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


New signs honor Purple Heart recipients in Portsmouth

They’re on East and West Main roads, Rte. 24, and the Mt. Hope Bridge

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth is a Purple Heart town, and has the signs to prove it.

The Department of Public Works recently installed four signs around town that proclaim “Purple Heart Town — Portsmouth, RI,” along with an image of the medal.

The Purple Heart medal is presented to service members who have been wounded or killed as a result of enemy action while serving in the U.S. military. 

It is the nation’s oldest military medal, first created by Gen. George Washington in 1782. (The medal was then known as the Badge of Military Merit.)

Carolyn Evans-Carbery, a member of the Portsmouth Veterans’ Honor Roll Committee who organizes many local events honoring veterans, said she was excited to see the signs go up.

“We’re thrilled, all of us on the Honor Roll Committee. We’re just so happy that it happened so we can honor veterans,” she said, mentioning fellow committee members Wally Coelho and Dave Duggan.

Evans-Carbery said the subject of Portsmouth becoming a Purple Heart town first came up during a ceremony for Korean War veterans  

“We were talking about the Purple Heart Trail and I asked what you needed to do. We weren’t part of it and I wanted to be part of it,” she said, adding that Rep. Terri Cortvriend (District 72-Portsmouth, Middletown) was pursuing the idea as well.

Last year six Purple Heart recipients from Portsmouth — Marvin Clements, Jeff Fletcher, Ken Garthee, Frank Grzyb, Bill McCollum, and Charles Morin — were honored during a special ceremony at Legion Park in front of Town Hall. (In all, 23 veterans from Portsmouth have earned the commendation.)

One of the speakers for that event was Joe “Tiger” Patrick, senior vice commander of the VFW Department of R.I. An Army veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm, he’s also chairman of the R.I. Purple Heart Trail Committee.

“Tiger Patrick was also instrumental in getting this done,” said Evans-Carbery, who also credited Cortvriend, DPW Director Brian Woodhead and Town Administrator Richard Rainer, Jr., for getting the signs up.

“Public Works ordered them and the Veterans Honor Roll Committee just paid for them as our way of saying thanks to the Purple Heart veterans and all the military,” she said, noting the money to purchase the signs from Add-A-Sign LLC of Leominster, Mass. came from fund-raisers held by the honor roll group over the past few years. “No town funds were used to purchase the signs.”

Where are they?

Here’s where you can find the Purple Heart signs:

• Route 24: Just south of the “Welcome to Portsmouth” sign, under the Tree City USA sign

• Mt. Hope Bridge: On the “Welcome to Portsmouth” sign, located on the lefthand side on the Portsmouth side.

• East Main Road (Route 138): Just north of Bramans Lane, under the Tree City USA sign.
• West Main Road (Route 114): Just north of Prescott Farm, under the Lions Club sign.

Friday, Aug. 7, is National Purple Heart Day.

2022 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.