The Department of Louisiana Military Order of the Purple Heart is comprised exclusively of Combat Wounded Veterans who have earned a Purple Heart Medal. Veterans from all ranks and eras (WWII to current day) are proud members. Their grandparents, parents, spouses, siblings, children, and grandchildren are eligible for membership in the Auxiliary.
The Department of Louisiana's mission is to be an advocate for all Veterans. Through service work and volunteerism, our members are devoted to enriching the lives of our combat wounded.
The modern day Purple Heart medal was first established as a Badge of Military Merit established by General George Washington on August 7, 1782. For an unknown reason, the badge was quietly forgotten until 1927 when General Charles Summerall, followed by General MacArthur, revived the award to be one given to those wounded in combat.
After the newly designed medal was crafted and approved, and the dedication of the Purple Heart medal was announced, Purple Heart recipients were gathering in nearly every state and and US territory to form a collective group that strengthens comradeship and patriotism, as well as assists, comforts, and aids all needy and distressed members and their dependents. They also encouraged and promoted fellowship amongst their fellow Combat Wounded Patriots. Their work was exceptional, and in 1932, the Military Order of the Purple Heart was born.
During WWII, Veterans - in record amounts- were receiving their medals, and with new eligibility laws in place, Veterans were receiving their medals posthumously - which allowed family members of the fallen to join and honor their loved one in the form of volunteerism. The fellowship that "The Order" displayed reflected on their female counterparts. Derived from the Departments and Chapters of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, a Ladies' Auxiliary was created to be the support and fundraising arm of the Order.
In the early 1940s, Purple Heart recipients from the great state of Louisiana were also heeding the call of patriotism and advocacy. In 1943, the first Chapter (173) of the Military Order of the Purple Heart was formed. On June 5th of 1944, the Red Stick Chapter (177 Baton Rouge) incorporated.
In order to secure their foothold amongst other organizations, many leaders from the Military Order of the Purple Heart, including Howell Brewer, MD. from Shreveport, petitioned Congress for Congressional Incorporation and the petition was granted
Bylaws required that in order to form a Department, two or more Chapters would need to be listed on the application. The same proved to be true for the Ladies' Auxiliary. On May 6, 1955, The Department of Louisiana was formed with the Ladies' Auxiliary. The Chartership of the Military Order of the Purple Heart was also created with Department Commander Lt. Harvey L. Carey (Navy) (Pictured below) at the helm. Carey also served as District US Attorney in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Since its incorporation and Chartership, the MOPH and the LAMOPH's membership rosters grew exponentially. Especially for the Auxiliary whose numbers increased in 2016 when the MOPH realized that more women were entering combat and their male family members wished to join the Auxiliary with a voice and a vote.
With the same historical objectives - ("Patriotic, fraternal, historical, and educational") - and to preserve and strengthen friendship among members; to perpetuate the memory of the Purple Heart dead; to maintain true allegiance to the Government of the United States and fidelity to its laws, and to emphasize principles of historical significance, Americanism and loyalty, a new name for the Auxiliary was voted upon and passed without objection in Dallas, Texas in August 2017. Three National Presidents from Louisiana served the members of the Ladies' Auxiliary, One has served under the Co-ed Auxiliary.
Commander Ron Crowley
Ron Crowley was born and raised in Louisiana, he enlisted into the Marines and served in Vietnam.
Commander Crowley was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of fame by Governor Bobby Jindal
He serves on several Veteran committees including Veteran’s Moncus Park committee where is he is co-chairman, and the Southwest Louisiana Veterans Action Coalition. He is a member of Chapter 504 in Lafayette and has been Chapter 504s distinguished leader for 6 years and Department Commander for 4 years.
President Teviah Gilliard
Teviah Gilliard is a member of Crescent City Unit 1995 since 1995. She has held several leadership roles before being elected as Department President in 2021.
President Gilliard is eligible for membership through her Patriot, Isaac Gilliard.
"I feel honored and privileged to have been elected as Department President. I will do my very best to meet the challenge and I am so very excited to take over the reins as President. I will dutifully carry the torch and be the lighthouse that we need to carry out our Auxiliary mission." states President Gilliard.
Congratulations to our new slate of officers in the Auxiliary's Department of Louisiana and our fellow members who have shown their confidence in me. I am grateful for your overwhelming support and look forward to serving with continuing support of our Veterans and their families.