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3rd ID soldier receives Purple Heart
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Tuesday was a special day for 3rd Infantry Division soldier Spc. Christopher Hayes.
With his wife by his side and his parents, grandparents and other family and friends in attendance, the wounded warrior was pinned with both the Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge in recognition of injuries he received while on an explosive ordinance disposal and security mission in Iraq.
Hayes was traveling atop a tanker as a gunner for the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team when an improvised explosive device struck the vehicle on Oct. 11.
The attack caused a number of injuries to the soldier, including a broken arm, but no lives were lost in the incident.
“Like I told my family, it’s bound to happen to somebody in Iraq. Someone’s got to take the bullet for the team,” Hayes said during his brief address to the crowd on hand for the ceremony. “And I was that one to take it.”
Remarking on the soldier’s bravery in combat, Fort Stewart Garrison Commander Col. Todd Buchs said the country is forever indebted to Hayes and other soldiers who have sacrificed their bodies and lives, but the focus for soldier now is healing.
“He’s given to our nation. He’s given to our Army ... but now it’s his mission to heal and to rehabilitate and get fit for whatever comes in the future for his and (his wife),” Buchs said.
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