Soldier Receives 2 Purple Hearts, 16 Others Earn 1
By Spc. Joshua McPhie
Army News Service
January 27, 2005
FORT HOOD, Texas - The 1st Cavalry Division presented 17 Soldiers with the Purple Heart medal Jan. 25 in a ceremony honoring their sacrifice.
One of the Soldiers, Sgt. Jerone Johnson, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, received two awards for injuries received on two separate occasions while serving in Baghdad.
"I'm speechless being awarded two purple hearts at one time, knowing that it's rare," said Johnson.
His first injury, in the middle of July, was the result of shrapnel from an Improvised Explosive Device. The blast left him with a concussion and minor injuries around his eye.
The second injury happened in the end of September at a sewage plant, according to Johnson. A car bomb went off, killing 37 Iraqis, many of them children.
"We had to give a report if any soldiers were injured, if all our guys were taken care of," Johnson said. "We dismounted our Humvees. I went on my radio and told my platoon sergeant that every one was all right. I noticed we had some dead spots out there. In other words we had open areas nobody had eyes on, watching to make sure we didn't get ambushed or anything.
"I told some of my guys "You watch this area, just in case we get ambushed with [rocket-propelled grenades].' The minute I turned around, boom, a second car bomb went off like three feet away," Johnson recalled.
Johnson said he was later told the blast threw him about 10 feet. The blast broke both his legs and injured the rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Johnson now has a rod in his left leg and a cast on his right leg. He is temporarily confined to a wheelchair because of these injuries, and expects to be medically retired.
"If I had a choice I would stay in and retire," he said. But he knows the decision is not his to make. "I've got to go with the docs."
Also receiving Purple Hearts at the ceremony were:
Spc. Troy Brown, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment
Spc. Kristopher Clinkscales, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment
Sgt. 1st Class Larry R. Daniels, 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment
Sgt. 1st Class Rene A. Fournier, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment
Capt. Brian Garvey, 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment
Spc. Michael Graybill, 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment
1st Lt. Timothy Hornik, 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment
Pvt. Brian Howard, 20th Engineer Battalion
Spc. Wayne Howard, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment
Pfc. Kyle S. Kmetetz, 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment
Cpl. Jody Macias, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment
Spc. Lynn Myers, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment
Sgt. Michael T. Norris, 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment
Sgt. Jack E. Pearl, 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment
Sgt. Maj. Jesse Santos, 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment
Sgt. Nathan Whaley, 20th Engineer Battalion
The ceremony also recognized 23 of the Commanding General's Volunteers of the Month and presented several individuals and organizations a special recognition award.
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