By Emily Howard
Killeen Daily Herald
FORT HOOD Ten soldiers from the First Team were pinned with the militarys oldest award during a ceremony Tuesday.
Some wore slings, some walked with limps, and some had no outward signs of suffering, but the Purple Heart recipients were all honored as heroes.
One by one, each 1st Cavalry Division soldier who was wounded while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom walked to the front of the Phantom Warrior Center to be pinned with the prestigious award. Brig. Gen. David D. Halverson, the 4th Infantry Divisions assistant commander for support, was there to give the awards and words of praise to each soldier, calling them great heroes.
It took three grenades to bring down Sgt. Akram Abdelwahab, and he and his men took out 10 insurgents during the Nov. 12 firefight. Abdelwahab, of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, suffered a broken arm, nerve damage, a fractured leg and shrapnel wounds. Despite it all, he said he wants to return to the war zone.
If I had it to do all over again, Id do the same, Abdelwahab said, calling it fun. He is awaiting reconstructive surgery on his arm and hopes to stay in the Army, although he is not sure if he can.
When Abdelwahab reached the front to receive his award, his two children, Bayli, 4, and Mustafa, 3, let out a loud cheer of Daddy! to the amusement of the audience.
Spc. Robert Henrie, a self-described computer guy, did not expect to be the recipient of war wounds because of his line of work. But car bombs dont ask what your job is, and as he and his fellow soldiers were busily setting up a public address system in southwest Baghdad, they were hit by two of them.
Henrie, a soldier with 4th Brigade, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, was hit by both blasts and suffered two blown-out eardrums and a broken right leg. Surgeries restored his hearing and the mobility in his leg. With little more than two years in the service, Henrie hopes to remain a soldier.
Henrie said receiving the Purple Heart was special to him.
Its an honor because of the people who have gotten it before me, he said.
Also awarded with the Purple Heart were:
n Spc. Juan Aguliar, 8th Engineer Battalion, Engineer Brigade
n Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Baker, 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery Regiment, Division Artillery
n Spc. Antonio Bush, 4th Brigade, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment
n Staff Sgt. Jesse Jackson, 91st Engineer Battalion, Engineer Brigade
n Pfc. William Jones, 4th Brigade, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment
n Spc. Phillip Rainwater Jr., 4th Brigade, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment
n Spc. Keith Schulteis, 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery Regiment, Division Artillery
n Pfc. Cody Walker, 4th Brigade, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment.
During the second part of the ceremony, 27 volunteers who donated their time and efforts to the 1st Cavalry Division were given Volunteers of the Month honors.
Contact Emily Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org