PINELLAS PARK, FL, UNITED STATES
By Lt. Col. Michele R. Sutak
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – Maj. Gen. Robert J. Kasulke awarded the Purple Heart to Sgt. 1st Class Russell O. Winn, a military policeman, and his family, here, Feb. 25, 2012, at the C.W. Bill Young Armed Forces Reserve Center for wounds he suffered in September 2010 during combat actions in Afghanistan.
Winn, 40, served with the 372d Military Police Company, 504th Military Police Battalion, during his deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Their main mission was training the national Afghan police and their national army.
While his squad was conducting mounted patrols during the Afghanistan elections in 2010, they responded to an attack by an improvised explosive device, as the team dismounted the vehicles, and were getting civilians to safety, a secondary IED detonated taking Winn out of the mission.
Winn, and his fellow Soldiers survived, he suffered mild traumatic brain injuries.
Kasulke, the commanding general of the Army Reserve Medical Command, and Command Sgt. Maj. Roger B. Schulz, the AR-MEDCOM’s command sergeant major, presented Winn, with a Purple Heart, as his wife Cathi and their three daughters stand beside him.
"I stand here today because of the care I received from the doctors, nurses, first responders, surgeons … if it wasn’t for your life-saving ability, many of us would not make it,” said Winn, the AR-MEDCOM provost marshal non-commissioned officer. He continued to praise the medics, “I saw you guys in action, and I would not be here if it were not for you.”
The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration.
This honor ceremony was close to home for Kasulke, the son of a World War II Purple Heart recipient, who was not around to see his father awarded the medal.
“This is an honor and a privilege for me to do this … to actually see this award being given,” said Kasulke. “I will not see this again in my military career at this level.”
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This work, AR-MEDCOM Soldier receives Purple Heart, by SSG Marnie Jacobowitz, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.