Pay tribute to the oldest military decoration in the U.S. at the home of its founder, George Washington.

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Add to Calendar 08/10/2019 10:30:00 12/31/1969 America/Rio_Branco Purple Heart Commemoration

Pay tribute to the oldest military decoration in the U.S. at the home of its founder, George Washington.

George Washington's Mount Vernon George Washington's Mount Vernon MM/DD/YYYY 15

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Included with General Admission

Purple Heart recipients receive free admission 365 days a year.

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Join Mount Vernon and members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart for the estate's official National Purple Heart Day Ceremony on the East Lawn overlooking the Potomac River at 10:30AM (weather permitting). Enjoy a musical prelude before the ceremony commences. The ceremony includes the presentation of the colors, a musical performance by the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, remarks by Mount Vernon President Doug Bradburn, and a keynote presentation by LTC Matthew Kutilek, USMC.  LTC Kutilek was presented with the Purple Heart for wounds suffered while deployed to Afghanistan. 

Near the entrance of the estate, visit the Purple Heart Memorial, the first stop on the Purple Heart Trail.

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Featured Speaker: Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Kutilek

Lieutenant Colonel Matthew J. Kutilek a 2001 graduate of The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina is a United States Marine Special Operations Officer with 18+ years of active duty service with multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. 

In March of 2010 he nearly lost his leg and his life after getting shot by an enemy sniper in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.  His traumatic injuries included an open compound fracture to his tiba, two of three arteries severed below the knee, destruction of 9cm of his tibial nerve, and removal of half his calf-muscle. Over an 18-month span and 11 surgeries, Matthew discovered cycling in an effort to recover and rehabilitate. That accidental discovery has turned into a cycling addiction.

Since 2012, Kutilek has covered 56,000 miles on his bicycles, participated in numerous endurance and ultra-endurance cycling races and raised over $22,000 for non-profit organizations in the process.  Kutilek is an avid reader and student of history with focus on Leadership, the American Revolution, and the American Civil War. 

Kutilek utilizes his personal and professional knowledge, study and life experiences to deliver motivational speeches to civil, business, historical and religious groups. He is married to Andrea and has four daughters.


Hear Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Kutilek's Story

Military Badges

On August 7, 1782, George Washington created three new military badges that would honor the service of ordinary, common soldiers. In these General Orders, Washington outlined the creation of the Badge of Military Merit, the precursor to the Purple Heart.

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