By Staff Sgt. Gina Vaile-Nelson
He got his Purple Heart on Nov. 6 from Maj. Gen. Edward Tonini at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in
“I’ve been blessed,” he said. “Things could’ve turned out a lot worse.
“But they didn’t do a good enough job ’cause here I am.”
His dedication to service and positive outlook on the incident is what Tonini said separates him from others.
“You are a perfect example of a Soldier,” Tonini said. “Everyone admires and asks how we get people like you. We are very fortunate as a nation and as a Kentucky National Guard to have you.
“This is not the presentation that you want to make,” Tonini said, “but, after the fact, it’s quite an honor to say you gave – you shed your blood for your nation to keep people free. That’s really what it’s all about.”
When he’s not wearing the Army uniform, he serves as a police officer for the Lexington-Fayette County Urban County Division of Police.
“The support that I get from the guys I work with is unbelievable,” he said. “And so is the support I get from my Family.
“I know this has been hard for my mom, but that’s a cross that we bear.”
He is from