February 22nd, 2022 

Contact: Senator Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484

Honoring the Oneida Nation’s Purple Heart Recipients

MADISON– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement after a bill he authored with Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) to allow the Oneida Nation to place signs related to their designation as a ‘Purple Heart Reservation’ in state highway rights-of-way passed the State Senate during today’s floor period: 

“The Oneida Nation has a long history of service to the United States that dates back to the origin of this nation and continues through today. Whether it’s the stories of the assistance provided to General George Washington’s Army at Valley Forge, the stories of Cletus Ninham during the Vietnam War, or one of many more stories of bravery and valor, the Oneida Nation has a deep history of service to our country, and unfortunately some have suffered injury as a result of that service.

“I am eternally grateful to all the men and women who have served in the military under the United States flag, especially the Oneida Nation members who have served under two flags to protect one home. It’s an honor to be able to pass this bill with Representative Steineke to simply ensure that the Oneida Nation can honor their status as a ‘Purple Heart Reservation’ by removing the hurdle preventing sign placement near the memorial.”

This legislation, 2021 Senate Bill 969, now heads to the Assembly for concurrence where they are expected to take up passage tomorrow. Senate Bill 969 was drafted and introduced after hearing from the Oneida Nation with a request for this minor change to state law to allow the placement of these signs, particularly on State Highway 54 near the Oneida Veteran’s Memorial Wall (at the intersection with County Road FF). For more information on the designation of the Oneida Nation as a ‘Purple Heart Reservation’ and the known history of some Purple Heart recipients that belonged to the Oneida Nation, please visit the Oneida Nation’s website.