AFSOUTH Airman presented with the Purple Heart Published April 5, 2013 By Master Sgt. Kelly Ogden 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, Ariz. -- An Airman assigned to the 612th Air and Space Operations Center was presented with the Purple Heart at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., April 4. Staff Sgt. Darren C. Fackler, a Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action during a deployment to eastern Afghanistan, April 19, 2012. "I am truly honored to be presenting Staff Sgt. Fackler with this prestigious recognition today," said Col. James Bortree, 612th AOC commander. "This award represents his courage, honor and solidifies what we already know about him...he's a great non-commissioned officer in our Air Force." The Purple Heart is the oldest military award that is still given to members of the U.S. military. Originally known as the Badge of Military Merit, it was established by George Washington, then the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, on August 7, 1782. It is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration.