Bill to Create New Forever Stamp

Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced the bipartisan “Perpetual Purple Heart Stamp Act,” which would direct the U.S. Postal Service to issue the Purple Heart stamp on a permanent basis as a “forever” stamp Wednesday. Cosponsors of this legislation include Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Ben Nelson (D-NE), David Vitter (R-LA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

The designation of the Purple Heart stamp as a commemorative “forever” stamp would ensure that the first-class postage stamp never expires or decreases in value. Last year, Webb and seven of his Senate colleagues sent a letter to Postmaster General John E. Potter urging that the stamp be made permanent to honor service members and veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart.

“This is a most appropriate way to honor past and future recipients of our nation’s oldest military decoration,” says Webb, a Marine combat veteran, who received two Purple Hearts during the Vietnam War. “Since its first issuance in 2003, approximately 1.2 billion first-class Purple Heart stamps have been sold worldwide. This volume of sales demonstrates the large interest in a Purple Heart stamp and making it a perpetual first class stamp would be a win for the U.S. Postal Service, which is facing a shortfall in future revenues.”

“The Military Order of the Purple Heart appreciates Sen. Webb's leadership on legislation that supports our nation’s veterans,” says Jeff Roy, National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. “The introduction of this legislation to make the current Purple Heart stamp a forever stamp is just another example of Senator Webb's dedication. The Purple Heart stamp would join the Liberty Bell stamp, one a symbol of our freedom and the other a symbol of the sacrifices made by many to keep our freedom.”

The Purple Heart stamp was first issued on May 30, 2003, and the 42-cent fourth edition stamp went on sale nationally in May 2008. Former Sen. Hillary Clinton introduced similar legislation last year in the 110th Congress.

In February, Webb received the MOPH Special Leadership Award in recognition of both his work to create a new post- 9/11 GI Bill and his role as a long-time advocate for America’s men and women in uniform.