Plant honored to make Purple Hearts

purpleheart32.jpgA small manufacturing plant in Tomball owes much of its success to a product nobody wants.

The 60 or so employees at Graco Awards make Purple Hearts, among other medals, primarily for the U.S. government.

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have increased demand for the medals, which are presented to soldiers wounded in combat and to the survivors of those killed on the battlefield. But Tom Tucker, who bought Graco Awards three years ago, says the medals are always big sellers — either to veterans of previous wars seeking replacements or wholesalers who service military bases.

“We have always had trouble keeping Purple Hearts in stock,” Tucker said. “Before the war, during the war, it’s just always a high-demand item.”

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