News: Soldier Receives Second Purple Heart for Injuries in Iraq
DICKINSON, N.D. - Justin A. Glasser, a former sergeant with the North Dakota Army National Guard, recently received a second Purple Heart for wounds received in action.
Glasser, of Fargo, served with the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion's Company C during its Iraq deployment, from December 2003 through February 2005. He was injured twice during that mobilization; May 3, 2004, for which he received his first Purple Heart, and Dec. 30, 2004.
"We are extremely appreciative of Sgt. Glasser's service, commitment and sacrifice," said Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota National Guard adjutant general. "Justin and his fellow Soldiers performing Trailblazer missions did an excellent job of patrolling and securing roads, ensuring safe passage by coalition forces and Iraqi civilians. Especially noteworthy is his receipt of two Purple Hearts."
Glasser, who served as a combat engineer (21B), conducted Trailblazer patrols in Iraq, traveling roadways near Baqubah to find and detonate improvised explosive devices. Both injuries occurred while performing the Trailblazer mission.
"My left knee was busted open to the kneecap from blunt force trauma due to the ballistic window being blown on top of it. I also received shrapnel to my right leg, which is still in there to this day," Glasser said of his second injury.
Glasser's first Purple Heart was awarded in August 2005 after he suffered tears to his ear membrane following an IED explosion.
"As far as my thoughts on getting a second Purple Heart, I can say one is definitely more than enough," Glasser said. "I consider myself lucky in the fact that I was able to receive my second Purple Heart; that doesn't happen too often. I joke around about it at times, telling people if you want one I have an extra one, which surprises them. I am mainly honored to have two Purple Hearts that I received doing something I love, and that is fighting for freedom and serving my country."
Glasser, 27, was discharged from the Guard after nine years of service. He's currently pursuing an online degree in architectural drafting and estimating from North Dakota State College of Science, and he works as a foreman for Kava Construction Inc. in Fargo, doing grain elevator construction and millwright service.
"This was my employer before I was deployed, and I returned to him a couple months after returning home," Glasser said. "...He has been a wonderful employer and supported me as I have had some after-effects that I had to deal with and still am dealing with some of them."
Glasser grew up in Mott, N.D., and is the son of Neil and Gerrie Jacobson, of Mott, and Charles Glasser, of Mandan, N.D.
The Purple Heart Medal was devised by George Washington Aug. 7, 1782, as the Badge of Military Merit. The award was no longer used after the Revolutionary War. Gen. Douglas MacArthur later revived the award and commissioned a design in 1931. The new design, which is still used, features a purple enameled heart within a bronze border with a relief profile of George Washington in Continental uniform. Above the shield is Washington's coat of arms. The medal is presented in recognition of wounds received as the result of enemy actions.
Since the terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 2,800 Soldiers and more than 1,600 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. In recent months, nearly 2,000 North Dakota National Guardsmen were mobilized for flood fighting missions all across North Dakota. With a total force of about 4,400 Soldiers and Airmen, we have sufficient forces available to provide emergency response and homeland defense.
Date Posted:06.30.2009 12:57
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