FORT STEWART, Ga. - Each heart has its own story, and each Purple Heart has its own story. Captain Darren H. McDonough was awarded his second Purple Heart for being wounded by an instrument of war during combat, May 12. Many gathered to congratulate him for his service in the Patriot Auditorium at Winn Army Community Hospital.

Captain McDonough was wounded Oct. 5, 2008 leading a training mission for Iraqi Soldiers. He was protected by his body armor when shot, but suffered other injuries as a result of the impact.

A prior-enlisted Soldier, Capt. McDonough was shot in the neck while serving in Afghanistan, Feb. 2002. He was awarded his first Purple Heart in the field.

"Death touched him twice," Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo said. "His willingness to face death again is admirable."

The Purple Heart is the oldest decoration of military merit still in use today. It was originally created to recognize outstanding valor and served to hold the Army together by honoring and rewarding great performance in the field during the Revolutionary War. Today, the Purple Heart is awarded to service members wounded or killed in combat.

Soon Capt. McDonough will medically retire and return to Miami, Fla. with his wife and two daughters.

"It is an honor to receive this award and to have everyone come out to this ceremony," Capt. McDonough said. "The Army values are all I know and I will transition into civilian life with the same commitment to excellence and mission focus that I gained in the Army."