Combat medic receives Purple Heart
May 7, 2010
FORT CARSON, Colo.---A Fort Carson Soldier who received a Purple Heart medal April 30 epitomizes what the Army knows and expects of its combat medics, said the assistant surgeon general for Warrior Care and Transition.
Spc. Robert L. Hunt, a Fort Carson Medical Department Activity emergency room medic, received the award at McMahon Auditorium from Brig. Gen. Gary H. Cheek who praised the Soldier for treating his fellow warriors after he was injured.
"One of the Army values we hold so dear is selfless service," said Cheek, who also serves as the commanding general of the Warrior Transition Command. "There is no greater way to demonstrate that selfless service than by taking care of others first, when you, yourself need attention."
While serving as a line medic with the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, in Iraq, Hunt's vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while on a combat patrol. Despite suffering second-degree burns to his face and lips and a perforated ear drum, Hunt treated his platoon sergeant to stop the bleeding from his neck and his gunner who received shrapnel to his armpit area while en route to the battalion's aid station, according to the award citation. Following care at the aid station, Hunt returned to his duties as a line medic caring for his fellow Soldiers.
"To present any Soldier with a Purple Heart is a great honor," Cheek said in a press conference following the ceremony, but he noted it was special to present Hunt with the medal.
"He is right there at the very edge of the fight, the pointy end of the sphere, in harm's way with the Soldiers who defended our nation and, when the tough times come - the bullets fly and he's wounded in the process, he puts that aside and takes care of his fellow Soldiers," Cheek said. "What a mark of a great Soldier ... he really upheld the great traditions for the many medics who have gone before him."
While being presented the award reminded Hunt of all the training it took to become a combat medic, his thoughts were with those killed in action who never received their Purple Heart medals.
"What (receiving this medal) really means to me is that I get to accept an award today that many others didn't get to see," Hunt said. "Their Families got it instead. I accept it for them, not for myself."
He said his training "just kicked in" when his vehicle was attacked.
"I played my role as a medic ... and other medics will tell you, any time there is an explosion you are not thinking of yourself" but about fellow Soldiers, Hunt said.