FORT SHAFTER, HAWAII-- A 5th Battlefield Coordination Detachment Soldier was awarded the Purple Heart Medal on May 11, 2012 at the Aliamanu Military Reservation community center.

Sgt. 1st Class Christopher M. Platter, a Lockport, New York native and a fire support specialist for the 5th BCD was awarded the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received during combat action on December 27, 2006 in Al Karma, Iraq. During this deployment, Platter was assigned as the fires and effects trainer and mentor on the military transition team that advised the 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi army division.

"I'm truly honored and humbled because I understand the sacrifice that so many others have made throughout history," said Platter. "As a Soldier, it's understood that people will get wounded in combat."

"Sgt. 1st Class Platter you will be revered forever by all of us here today," said Brig. Gen. James H. Dickinson, the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Commander. Thank you for your service to our great Army and thank you for your service to a grateful nation.

"My dad gave me some advice before the deployment," said Platter. He told me to keep my head down. I think that was some pretty good advice and I think I'm still here because of that. I was also willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the love of both countries and for the Army as well."

Today 53,129 service members have earned the Purple Heart Medal since 9/11 in the defense of the United States, said Dickinson. So if that number is correct then Sgt. 1st Class Platter is 53, 130.

Platter's father Mr. Jack F. Platter is also a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal from wounds received in the Vietnam War in 1967.

The Purple Heart Medal is an American decoration, the oldest military decoration in the world in present use. It is also the first American award made available to the common Soldier.
Additionally the Purple Heart medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration.