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Featured Purple Heart Project Alumni

This is the first installment of our “Featured Purple Heart Project Alumni” article which will be a reoccurring article in each of our PHP quarterly newsletters. The purpose of this article is to highlight combat wounded Veterans who received a PHP scholarship and update the community as to what they have been doing since their scholarship experience.

Our featured PHP alumni is Noah Mutrie, an Army Veteran who received his PHP Scholarship in October of 2023.  Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he now lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Noah has kept up his woodworking skills by making beautifully crafted bandsaw boxes for friends and family.

It was very important to Noah to use Purple Heart wood in his boxes because it symbolizes the Purple Heart Medal he and his close friend received from their time in combat. The rest of the box is typically made with a mix of Walnut, Ambrosia Maple, and Cherry.  Noah’s inspiration for his bandsaw boxes comes from the classic tale ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ The unique curves and wild symmetry make you think the box was crafted in the whimsical dimension of Wonderland.  

It takes Noah about three days to craft one of his bandsaw boxes. The box build starts with three separate glue-ups to achieve the alternating patterns of wood. After the glue-up Noah cuts out the wavy pattern of the box and the drawer with his bandsaw. He sands to remove all the bandsaw marks. Finally, Noah finishes the box with a rub-on, wipe-off oil.

You can see some of Noah’s other fine woodworking projects on his Facebook page “Better than New Woodworking” which is also the name of his woodworking business. Coming soon on his Facebook page will be a link to his website where you can purchase his hand-crafted products.

We would love to feature you or someone you know. Please contact Patrick Glynn at


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