A Purple Heart Briefcase for a Purple Heart Town

This week, Marana Town Council formally accepted a beautifully crafted wooden briefcase made by Don and Georgia Duncan.  The couple donated the case as thanks to the Town for its commitment to the region’s veterans.  Inside, a hand-embroidered Purple Heart adorns the white-bonded leather lining. 

To Don and Georgia Duncan, the Town of Marana is much more than their address.  When they moved to this community 8 years ago, they found a home that shared their values and experiences.  Don, a veteran of the Air Force, knows the hardship endured by service men and women, especially when the experiences of war leave them permanently scarred. 

In 2014, the Military Order of the Purple Heart honored Marana with its highest distinction as a Purple Heart Town.  That commitment includes a memorial at Mountain Vista High School, and the Arizona Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery. The cemetery, set to open in 2016, will offer free burial services for any honorably discharged military veteran. It is the first of its kind in the greater Tucson region, an area that is home to over 100,000 veterans.  

The briefcase is carved from African sapele hardwood and lined with leather interior made from copper-colored cowhide. The Town logo is etched into the wood exterior, while the Town seal is stitched into the leather. The vibrant colors are inspired by the five C’s of Marana and Arizona: copper, cattle, cotton, citrus, and climate.  Georgia spent hours carefully placing over ninety thousand stitches on the details of the seal and Purple Heart emblem.  In a formal presentation to the Town Council, she emphasized that this gift “symbolizes that Marana is very much behind veterans.” 

Mr. and Mrs. Duncan have encouraged the Town to use this briefcase on official business, especially when the Town is working on projects related to veterans.  When not in use, the Town will display it prominently in the lobby of the Marana Municipal Complex, located at 11555 W. Civic Center Dr.  Visitors are encouraged to stop by and see this generous gift.