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A federal lawsuit targets a local non-profit known for helping veterans with housing.

This court battleground is over the words Purple Heart and the logo associated with the award given to wounded soldiers.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart and its service foundation claims Purple Heart Homes in Statesville doesn't have the legal right to use Purple Heart because the Order owns the trademark, but claims the non-profit does it anyway.

Purple Heart Homes built a ramp into a Mooresville coffee shop so veterans in wheel chairs could get in.

It helped veteran Jason Hyde get a house for his wife and kids and remodeled veteran Dave Morrell's house in Harrisburg.

There's no shortage of good deeds for Purple Heart Homes founders Dale Beatty and John Gallina, both Purple Heart recipients themselves who focus on housing for veterans.

According to the lawsuit, the Military Order of the Purple Heart and its service foundation own the Purple Heart name and logo in trademarks. They allege Purple Heart Homes' use constitutes trademark infringement, unfair competition, deceptive trade practices and unjust enrichment.

Army Colonel Phil Foster doesn't think Purple Heart Homes is in the wrong.

I think the lawsuit is frivolous, Foster said. Anyone who knows anything about them knows they're not associated with the Purple Heart association at all.

The lawsuit claims that's not true, and that Purple Heart Homes is misleading, causes confusion and gives people a false impression the two are connected.

76-year-old Herman Bullard knows a thing or two about the Purple Heart. He's a recipient from battle wounds in Vietnam.

Bullard says this battle over words, logos and trademarks shouldn't be a war.

I'm not sympathetic to the Military Order of the Purple Heart. My loyalties, support would go to Purple Heart Homes because personally I know what they do for the veterans who are in need.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart sent Purple Heart Homes a cease and desist letter putting them on notice of unauthorized use, but it hasn't changed anything.

They're now hoping a jury trial changes that.

Purple Heart Homes changing its name and logo could perhaps resolve the matter.

The non-profit isn't commenting about the lawsuit.

Gallina says they may at a later date.

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