Published: Aug 07, 2012 5:01 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 07, 2012 6:10 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- The city of Cape Coral is saluting our service members with a first-ever proclamation. August 7th is now "Purple Heart Day." 

One Cape Coral man, who knows what it feels like to receive a Purple Heart, was given the key to the city.

"We are a veteran friendly community and we want to embrace them and help them all that we can," said Mayor John Sullivan.

"I was actually asked if I wanted a colonel to give it or if I wanted the president to give mine. I actually chose to have my Dad give me mine," said Army Specialist Michael Araujo.

Araujo lost a leg in Afghanistan and was still in the hospital when his Dad, a Navy veteran, pinned the medal to his chest.

"A lot of people say, would you do it all over again?  If I had it all to do again and I knew everything was going to happen, I'd still do all of it again," he said.
City leaders hope to add Iraq and Afghanistan war memorials at the foot of the Veterans Bridge.

"We're trying to let our veterans know we appreciate the sacrifices that they've made," said Sullivan.

Araujo is among more than 16 thousand vets that call Cape Coral home, but today's excitement will only be exceeded by another event this week: The birth of his second child. Landon is due in six days.

"That's the thing I want my kids to see as they're growing up. I don't want them to regret what they did. I want them to look forward," he said.