‘Purple Heart State’ Bill Championed by Lewis County Resident Signed Into Law


A bill declaring Washington as a Purple Heart State, a ceremonial designation to honor members of the armed services who have been killed or wounded in action, was among 14 bills that Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law Monday afternoon. 

“This will honor the heroic sacrifice of our armed services forces members from all generations,” Inslee said as he signed House Bill 1250 into law, thanking the bill’s primary sponsor, Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, and Washington’s Purple Heart honorees. 

Even though COVID-19 restrictions prohibited her from going to watch Inslee sign HB 1250, Mary Astrid, the Lewis County resident who encouraged Orcutt to sponsor the bill this Legislative session, traveled to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Olympia “to represent this historic signage,” Astrid said in an email. 

And even though she didn’t witness Inslee signing the bill, she did get a chance to thank him on his way out of the governor’s mansion. 

“I got to see Gov. Inslee come out of the mansion from the side entrance on his way to sign the 14 bills,” Astrid wrote in an email to The Chronicle. “I thanked him and said God bless you! He said thanks and waved back. I’m so glad I didn't watch it being televised but here in person on the campus.”

Lewis County became a Purple Heart County in November 2019, one of two in the state of Washington. The other is Thurston County. 

“Purple Heart State had its own voice and carried itself with full merit and worth the sacrifices of our brave men and women,” Astrid wrote. 


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