Council member Lahnen seeks Purple Heart City designation for Jacksonville

Jacksonville would join more than 900 U.S. cities that participate in the program.

  • By Ric Anderson
  • | 12:05 a.m. April 22, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
Jacksonville Beach became a Purple Heart City in 2020, reported.
Jacksonville Beach became a Purple Heart City in 2020, reported.
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To undergird support of military veterans and active service members, including those who stay and work in Jacksonville after their active service has ended, City Council member Will Lahnen has introduced legislation that would make Jacksonville a Purple Heart City. 

Resolution 2024-0261 would add Jacksonville to the list of more than 900 U.S. cities that participate in the Purple Heart City program.

Will Lahnen

The program honors both active service and veteran military personnel who have received the Purple Heart medal for wounds suffered during their service.

In its economic development efforts, Jacksonville promotes the community as having a pipeline of skilled, experienced workers through the presence of Naval Air Station Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport.

Space and defense companies operating in the area include Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Redwire Space, Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, Kaman Aerospace and Collins Aerospace, according to the JAXUSA Partnership website.

Lahnen served as a U.S. Navy submarine officer and is currently the director of finance and procurement at the Wounded Warrior Project.

His community service activities include being a member of the JAX Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee.

“We have approximately 30,000 service members in the greater Jacksonville area with roughly 3,000 ending their careers or enlistments each year, and I want to help ensure we are positioning ourselves to the best of our ability,” Lahnen said. “And while not measurable, this is another small step we can take.”

Fifteen Council members have co-sponsored the resolution, including Navy veterans Nick Howland, Jimmy Peluso and Raul Arias, Florida National Guard Judge Advocate General Rory Diamond and Army veteran Chris Miller.

The legislation is in committee review  on its way to a vote by the full Council. If it passes, the city’s costs will consist of paying for signs to put up at major entryways to the city.



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