By Pfc. Jared S. Eastman, 1st BCT Public Affairs, 3rd IDOctober 24, 2008
FORT STEWART, GA -- Purple Hearts were awarded for courageousness in our Global War on Terrorism and for a war that happened almost 60 years ago. Three Soldiers and one veteran were presented their medals by Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, the 3rd Infantry Division commanding general, on Marne Garden, Friday.
Staff Sergeant John Fortner, Company B, 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, was wounded in action Aug. 3, 2005, during Operation Iraqi Freedom III. Specialist Michael Anderson, Company A, 3/69 Armor, 1st BCT, was wounded in action March 29, 2007 during OIF V. Private Jim Davis, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3/69 Armor, 1st BCT, was wounded in action Dec.31, 2007 OIF V.
Retired Staff Sgt. Clinton Henry was wounded during the Korean War in 1952.
The three 1BCT Soldiers served honorably and could have understandably discontinued their service, said Lt. Col. Jessie Robinson, the 3/69 Armor commander.
"They have served their nation honorably and yet here they stand, proud, strong, and still serving," Robinson said. "Today is an awesome day to be a Soldier, especially in the Raider Brigade of the Marne Division, because we're taking a few minutes to recognize four American heroes.
"The Purple Heart recipients share a common distinction that all American citizens recognize and respect, the Purple Heart comes from a matter of right to those who have been wounded in combat," Robinson added.
"It was a great honor getting the award from the general," said Fortner, "I didn't expect this to be so formal."
Anderson also shared Fortner's appreciation. "I felt honored to come up here," Anderson said. "I was really nervous, to shake all the hands and get coins."
The brigade commander stated that everyone there had something in common, and that is the War on Terror. "Soldiers help defeat this enemy every day. Our Soldiers are, first and foremost, warriors," Robinson said.
" We will always place the mission first; we will never accept defeat, and never leave a fallen comrade behind. This puts fear in our enemy's heart, it is not our Soldier's Creed that scares the enemy, it is the fact that we live it. It's our courage, our discipline, our values, sense of dedication and service."