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Posted 9/19/2013

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By Katie Newton, public affairs

Luis Rivera-Rios, Project Support Assistant in the district Planning, Programs, and Project Management Branch, earned the Purple Heart on April 10, 2007 and has since worked to gain   further recognition of the prestigious award and its recipients by serving on the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Department of Kentucky as their 2013 State Commander.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart Department of Kentucky was Charter by Congress in October 22, 1988. Since then the organization has been serving Combat Wounded Veterans in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Rivera-Rios requested for Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell to recognize the 25th Anniversary of the MOPH Department of Kentucky in Congress, and on May 20, 2013 McConnell gave praise to the combat-wounded veterans who are members of the MOPH.

“The members of the Kentucky MOPH have made extraordinary contributions and sacrifices in defense of the United States. Their brave and valiant actions during combat have been vital to preserving the freedom and way of life that Americans continue to enjoy today. I applaud the members of the Kentucky MOPH not only for their service to the United States, but also for their steadfast commitment to their fellow combat-wounded veterans and to all of our Nation’s veterans and their families,” read McConnell.

In addition, McConnell drew attention to the Department of Kentucky MOPH’s 25th Anniversary, which will be on Oct. 22, 2013 and a flag was flown over the Pentagon for further recognition.

Rivera-Rios has been a big advocate of the MOPH by championing several bills in the Kentucky House and Senate, which have became law, including the House Bill 167 which officially declared Kentucky as a Purple Heart State and House Bill 272, to include the phrase “Combat Wounded” on Kentucky Purple Heart license plates.

Rivera-Rios also designed the first Coin of Merit for the Kentucky Department of the Military Order of the Purple Heart in order to recognize the Founders of the Kentucky MOPH, previous Kentucky MOPH Department Commanders and Purple Heart Recipients in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Rivera Rios continues to think of ways to further recognize Purple Heart recipients thru the Commonwealth of Kentucky and our Nation. He currently hold the positions of Adjutant for Region 2 (which covers 11 states) of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and is a member of the National Social Media Committee of the National Military Order of the Purple Heart, among other Chapter and Statewide positions.