The Purple Heart award is a medal presented to members of the Armed Forces who have been wounded or killed as the result of enemy action while serving in the United States military.
Washington celebrates August 7th as Purple Heart Recipient Recognition Day and offers a distinctive license plate for Purple Heart recipients. Interstate 5 from the Canadian border to the Oregon State line is named the Purple Heart Trail. The Purple Heart Trail, designated by signs placed along the trail, is a system of roads, highways, bridges, and other monuments that honors those who have received the Purple Heart award. Washington also has multiple counties and cities that have Purple Heart designations.
Washington is designated a Purple Heart State that honors people who have received the Purple Heart award.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and state military agencies are authorized to erect signs recognizing Washington is a Purple Heart State. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is authorized to erect signs as part of the transportation system recognizing Washington is a Purple Heart State, especially at entry points to the state.
The DVA Purple Heart State Account, the Military Department Purple Heart State Account, and the DOT Purple Heart State Account are each created as nonappropriated accounts in the custody of the state treasurer. The DVA, state military agencies, and DOT are authorized to accept gifts or donations to assist efforts related to Washington being a Purple Heart State which must be deposited into their respective accounts. The director or secretary of each agency, or their designee, may authorize expenditures from the account to erect signs.