FORT HOOD, Texas - The courage, selfless service and sacrifices of 18 American heroes wounded while serving in Iraq were recognized during the 1st Cavalry Division's Purple Heart and Volunteer of the Month Ceremony held Oct. 23 at the Fort Hood Catering and Conference Center.

"These heroes have demonstrated an unwavering sense of devotion to duty, patriotism, valor and fidelity," said Lt. Col. Archie P. Davis III, the deputy commander of the 1st Cavalry Division rear detachment.

Along with community leaders, Soldiers, friends and family, Brig. Gen. Frederick S. Rudesheim, Fort Hood's installation commander, was present to address the recipients and audience.

"Each one of these brave Soldiers demonstrated to the world that they had the moral conviction and steadfast determination to map out a course of action and follow it through to the end," continued Rudesheim. "They never let other people's doubts and criticisms sway them from their duties."

But the Soldiers, who were pinned with their Purple Hearts, weren't the only ones being recognized for selfless service to others.

"We also want to pause to recognize the selfless service and contributions of our honored volunteers," Davis said. "Your time and talents have made a huge impact on the quality of support provided to our Soldiers and their families."

After presenting each of the volunteers with a certificate of appreciation, the first lady of the 1st Cavalry Division, Wendy Fil, addressed honorees of the day.

"To our Purple Heart recipients, our Heroes, thank you for 'fighting the good fight' and for your personal sacrifices in the name of freedom," Fil said. "Your service will not be forgotten and will not be in vain."

She continued to talk about the volunteers.

"Our volunteers make a difference not just on one day, but every day," Fil said. "Every act of kindness and concern being significant. Every act of touching at least one life, bringing encouragement and relief to at least one person in need."

In closing, Rudesheim quoted John F. Kennedy, saying, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."