While surveying the current and possible future field of GOP Senate recruits, one thing has stood out to us — in two potentially top races, national Republicans are recruiting military veterans who were awarded Purple Hearts for their service and wounds in Iraq and Afghanistan. So, as we celebrated our country’s 247th birthday this past week, we wanted to take a deeper dive into these candidates and also look more broadly at the history of Purple Heart recipients and veterans running for the Senate.

We’ve profiled both 2024 candidates recently. Last week, former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy, one of Republicans’ top recruitment targets, announced his candidacy to challenge Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. And Republicans also believe they’re close to landing Army veteran Sam Brown as a candidate to take on Nevada Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen.

Both are expected to make their military service a key part of their campaign message, and both have compelling stories to tell. Senate Republicans also seem to be taking a page from House Republicans’ successful recruiting efforts in 2020, when every newly-elected member of

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