The bravery of veterans wounded in action – Fort Carson Mountaineer

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FORT CARSON, Colo. – U.S. Army 1st Lt. EJ Arstein and other soldiers, assigned to the 4th Mobile Ordnance Repair Unit, 4th Infantry Division, examine two captured German 77s Sept. 26, 1918, Cuisy, France. These 4 Inf. Div. Soldiers served to defend the United States and put their lives on the line. (US Army photo)

“What I did was insignificant compared to what others did, I have no regrets, and if I had to do it again, I would do it the same way. Freedom is worth fighting for.

—Bill Redmond

By Spc. Collin MacKown

14th Public Affairs Detachment
Veteran Ian Ives, who was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), lies in a Walter Reed Hospital, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wa.  reads while recovering from injuries he received in action in November 2019. To Ives' left is TJ Oshie, a Washington Capitals professional hockey player, his favorite player, and to his right is his wife, Rebecca Ives.  (Photo courtesy of Ian Ives)

Veteran Ian Ives, who was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), lies in a Walter Reed Hospital, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wa. reads while recovering from injuries he received in action in November 2019. To Ives’ left is TJ Oshie, a Washington Capitals professional hockey player, his favorite player, and to his right is his wife, Rebecca Ives. (Photo courtesy of Ian Ives)

FORT CARSON, Colo. — The 4th Infantry Division celebrates Purple Heart Day, August 7, 2022, which recognized acts of meritorious service performed by soldiers in combat. This earned them the Purple Heart Medal, which was founded on August 7, 1782 by former Commander-in-Chief General George Washington.

The Purple Heart Medal is designed to commemorate acts of bravery and honor fallen soldiers for their service to the United States. As noted on the United States Army Human Resources Command website, the Purple Heart Medal is awarded to members of the armed forces who have been killed, wounded, or succumbed to their wounds.

More than 2 million soldiers have been awarded the Purple Heart Medal throughout the military for their dedicated service to the United States. Many soldiers and veterans may agree that there is no such thing as being in a combat zone.

“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever encountered,” said Bill Redmond, and retired as a Vietnam veteran first lieutenant, who was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division. “It was hard to believe, and until you see all the horror and poverty, you don’t realize how big of an impact this is having on your life.”

US Army Pvt.  Ward Wately, assigned to the 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, watches over one of two Mark-5 tanks they knocked out with bazookas during a German attack on July 16, 1944, in France.  Wately served alongside other Soldiers in the 4th Inf.  Div., defending the United States and its citizens.  (US Army photo)

US Army Pvt. Ward Wately, assigned to the 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, watches over one of two Mark-5 tanks they knocked out with bazookas during a German attack on July 16, 1944, in France. Wately served alongside other Soldiers in the 4th Inf. Div., defending the United States and its citizens. (US Army photo)

Redmond was drafted in 1965 and graduated from Officer Candidate School in May 1967, and was deployed to Vietnam. He served three years as a transport officer, then was wounded in action, earning him the Purple Heart.

“I spent about 10 months in Walter Reed Hospital and lost part of my left hand,” Redmond said. “It’s dangerous work and so many things can go wrong, very quickly. I remember being so relieved and grateful when I finally saw the medevac coming to pick me up.

Many soldiers and veterans have stories and wounds that reflect all they have done for our country. War changes the lives of so many who serve, and that’s why the Purple Heart exists, to honor the wounded and the dead.

Bill Redmond is not the only veteran to have had such an experience. Another Purple Heart recipient who dedicated 11 years to the US army.

“I was awarded the Purple Heart due to an injury I received from an improvised explosive device (IED) that detonated two feet from me while on a landing patrol in Afghanistan,” Ives said. . “The explosion traumatized my right arm; severely damaged my face, neck, right eye, abdomen and upper right leg. I spent a total of 11 months at Walter Reed Military Hospital recovering, relearning how to walk, eat, and navigate life as an upper limb amputee.

An army infantryman, assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, digs on the crest of a hill while in a deflated position March 3, 1945, Prum Valley, Germany.  Other units of his division had closed in on the Rhine.  (US Army photo)

An army infantryman, assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, digs on the crest of a hill while in a deflated position March 3, 1945, Prum Valley, Germany. Other units of his division had closed in on the Rhine. (US Army photo)

Ives’ courage and determination allowed him to recover from his injuries and serve two more years of active duty in the military. He went so far as to pass the Army Combat Aptitude Test without any alternate events.

“I was exposed to the most violent aspects of war; however, I think my time in the war was worth it,” Ives said. “I do not regret having served in any capacity. My life is not over, I just increased the difficulty of life and sometimes solving problems with one hand is fun.

The legacy of selflessness is evident in all the stories of those who received the Purple Heart Medal.

“What I did was insignificant compared to what others did,” Redmond said. “I have no regrets, and if I had to do it again, I would do it the same way. Freedom is worth fighting for.

August 7, 2022 marks Purple Heart Day, during which we take a moment to recognize the stories of bravery from soldiers and veterans who show exactly what it means to receive a purple heart.

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