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NEWS | Aug. 28, 2014

Sergeant Major of the Army presents Purple Heart to Army specialist

By Robert Shields BAMC Public Affairs

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III presented a Purple Heart to a wounded Soldier for his combat-related injuries during a Purple Heart ceremony Aug. 19 hosted by Brooke Army Medical Center at the Warrior and Family Support Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

Chandler, who regularly visits BAMC to talk with wounded and recovering service members, took time to present a Purple Heart award to Spc. Christoffer A. Fields, who was wounded in Afghanistan June 25.

"People ask me what is the best part of my job? Frankly this is the best part of my job ... to come down here and see these young men and women like Spc. Fields to offer our support and encouragement," Chandler said. "But more importantly to say that the leadership of the Army cares and invests in what they are doing and how they are continuing in their journey. I am grateful for this opportunity to present this award today."

Fields, assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, was wounded when his vehicle struck a pressure plate improvised explosive device while on a mounted patrol in Afghanistan June 25.

Fields says the recovery isn't easy and that his main goal is to be able to walk by the end of this year. Chandler quickly issued a hearty challenge to Fields to accomplish this goal and said he would be here personally to make sure it happens.

"I like that. I think it's a great challenge and I think I'll be ready," Fields said. "I'll do everything my body will let me and I'll just push forward. Even if it's just a step I'll try to be walking by then."

The oldest military decoration in the world, the Purple Heart is an American decoration 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.