Images: Medically retired Soldier receives Purple Heart Medal
Photo by Laura Boyd
Acting senior commander for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Brig. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, affixes the Purple Heart Medal to retired Sgt. Nathaniel Von Beitler's chest April 23 at the Fort Campbell Warrior Transition Battalion. While serving in Afghanistan's Kunar Province with Bravo Company, 2-327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, an improvised explosive device struck the vehicle Von Beitler was riding in June 4, 2010. Von Beitler suffered loss of consciousness and was later diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury as a result of the blast. He was medically evacuated to Germany and was assigned to the Fort Campbell WTB in August 2010 where he remained for medical management and treatment until his medical retirement in January 2013.
"We are all honored to be part of this ceremony today to give you the medal you truly deserve," said WTB commander Lt. Col. William Howard.
"It is sacrifices like these that allows our country, allows the United States Army, to be able to fight and defend our country against any threat," said Stammer of Von Beitler's three combat deployments and the combat-related injuries he suffered. Stammer voiced his admiration for Von Beitler, who hails from Hollywood, Ca., to answer the call to serve and defend the country. "The courage and intestinal fortitude to answer is honorable in of itself to lead men in battle, not hesitating and furiously engaging our enemies elevates his character and service even more," said Stammer. Von Beitler said that he was truly humbled by the recognition. "I can't thank you enough, hands down, I couldn't be more honored," said Von Beitler. (U.S. Army Photo by Laura Boyd/Released)