War on Terrorism

Sunday, January 09, 2011

In hospital bed ceremony, Kentucky Guardsman gets Purple Heart

By Staff Sgt. Gina Vaile-Nelson
Kentucky National Guard

FRANKFORT, Ky. (1/6/11) – The Kentucky National Guard’s adjutant general went to a wounded warrior’s hospital bedside to award Army Staff Sgt. Chris Eden a Purple Heart.

Eden is recovering from injuries suffered Oct. 30, when his Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan while on a convoy escort.

He got his Purple Heart on Nov. 6 from Maj. Gen. Edward Tonini at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Ky.

Eden said he took the brunt of the blast, which hit under his seat, breaking his back.

“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.”

Eden is no stranger to selfless-service. This was his second deployment, with one tour served in Iraq.

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.”

Eden is assigned to the Richmond, Ky., based 2123rd Transportation Company, which deployed to Afghanistan in February.

He is from Lexington, Ky., where he lives with his wife, Dana. He is the son of Judy and Raymond Eden.

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