RUSSELLVILLE, Mo. — Those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect American freedom, including U.S. Marine Corp. John Campbell, will not be forgotten in Russellville.
Siblings of Campbell, who was killed in action in Vietnam, presented two Purple Heart City road signs Aug. 17 to the Russellville Board of Aldermen.
The city received the designation through the efforts of Russellville author Jeremy Amick. The signs, which eventually will be installed on Route C at entrances to the city, were donated by Community Point Bank.
"The City of Russellville appreciates the sacrifices our Purple Heart recipients have made in defending our freedoms and believe it it important that we acknowledge them for their courage and show them the honor and support they have earned," the proclamation signed by Mayor Sharon Morgan reads.
Jefferson City became a Purple Heart City in 2014 but only recently received five signs, at $100 each, paid for by the Jefferson City Veterans Council, to place at city entrances.
Mount Moriah became a Purple Heart Village in 2015. Taos, Holts Summit and Versailles became Purple Heart cities in 2016.
These Mid-Missouri stops are part of the larger Purple Heart Trail, which seeks to pay tribute to the men and women who have been awarded the distinguished medal by creating a visual reminder of the high price of freedom.
In traveling and researching for his books about Missouri military history, Amick said, he noticed the Purple Heart City signs and followed up with his hometown.
He said he would be willing to help other Mid-Missouri communities complete the process.
The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy or posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those killed in action or die of wounds received in action.
Campbell posthumously was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medal and is recognized on Panel 24E/Line 107 of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., Amick wrote in one of his columns on behalf of the Silver Star Families of America.
He was born in 1946, the third of 11 children of Kenneth and Roena Campbell, who operated a farm just outside of Russellville.
Campbell attempted to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1964, but was rejected due to a heart murmur. However, the Marines drafted him in 1966. He was a rifleman with Company M, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, beginning his tour in September 1966.
On Aug. 13, 1967, Campbell, 20, was killed on patrol in the Quang Nam Province of Vietnam, when an unknown enemy explosive device detonated.
For more information, visit purpleheart.org.