MAHONING VALLEY, Ohio (WKBN) – Starting Saturday, billboards can be seen throughout the Valley raising awareness for the Purple Heart award.

The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded to those wounded or killed while serving our country.

Department of Ohio Commander Leo H. Connelly Jr. brought the idea to Lamar Advertising in Youngstown, who made it all possible.

The billboards are meant to highlight the cost of freedom and can be seen in five different locations around Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.

“Now that we are getting the word out and people understand what that stands for…Stands for freedom, the people that have made the ultimate sacrifice. And the ones like myself who have spilled blood for this country,” said Commander Connelly.

Billboards will be displaying the message through Monday, which is National Purple Heart Day.

Commander Connelly Jr. says he can’t thank Lamar advertising enough to make his vision possible and that we must not lose sight of the cost of freedom and all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Our goal was to get the word out, raise money for children of purple heart recipients, so that we are able to give them scholarships to be able to go to college. And just to know that we give something back to kids of purple heart recipients,” said Commander Connelly.

Commander Connelly Jr. told me that if you see a military person walk up, shake their hand. It would mean so much to them to acknowledge their service.