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Edinburg recognized as Purple Heart city due to efforts of local veteran

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The city of Edinburg is now another Valley city that has earned the recognition of a Purple Heart city. It comes after efforts made by one local Vietnam veteran, who says he hopes this designation is something the city can celebrate every year.

Veteran Joe Ybarra was injured twice in Vietnam while serving in the United States Army.

While he still carries the shrapnel from his injuries, returning to the states back then was just as painful.

“When I was in the service, we came back, they treated us like trash in uniform, being wounded,” said Joe Ybarra, a Purple Heart recipient. “And people would turn away."

During city council this week, the city of Edinburg was designated a Purple Heart city. Mayor Richard Molina says it stems from Ybarra’s efforts.

“He’s the one that actually took it to the next step to make that happen,” Molina said.

The city has not yet decided where the Purple Heart sign will be placed, but Molina says a parking spot right across from city hall will be dedicated to Purple Heart recipients.

September 7 now recognized as Purple Heart day for the city.

Ybarra read the proclamation and says the moment made him proud to be a resident of Edinburg.

The designation means Edinburg joins South Padre Island and Weslaco as Purple Heart cities.

Both Hidalgo and Cameron Counties have also been recognized as Purple Heart counties.

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