CRESTVIEW — The Crestview News Bulletin now holds a title that no other news organization in the country can claim.
It is the first Purple Heart Newspaper.
The Military Order of the Purple Heart's Special Recognition Award reflects the newsroom's commitment to covering active and retired service members, Region IV Cmdr. Bill Everett said.
Everett honored the News Bulletin "mainly because of all the support you do for the military personnel, retired and active duty, in the surrounding area; mainly because of the high visibility of all military people in the Crestview area — Crestview is the highest populated area in Okaloosa County," he said. "You reach out and touch everybody with your newspaper, which is good. "
The honor is rare, Everett said.
"We don't go out of the way to do this for everybody; we are very, very selective," he said. "(Award) recipients have to be true patriots and honor their military personnel and support them as much as the Crestview News Bulletin does."
The news provider's print edition, which publishes Wednesdays and Saturdays, and its website, crestviewbulletin.com, include regularly updated Military pages.
The recognition is appreciated, News Bulletin Editor Thomas Boni said.
"Not just the first Purple Heart Newspaper in Florida, but first in all of the United States of America ... we are so humbled and honored," he said in a statement. "We thank Okaloosa's heroic military service members and the Purple Heart recipients who made this possible. We are forever indebted to them for serving our country."
The Military Order of the Purple Heart, formed in 1932, is a veterans service organization that advocates on behalf of veterans who earn the Purple Heart. The decoration recognizes enemy-wounded United States armed forces members.
It has recognized Northwest Florida on a number of occasions. Okaloosa is Florida's first Purple Heart County and Crestview is the county's first Purple Heart City.