Vice Chairman Visits Wounded Warriors in San Antonio
By Maria Gallegos
Brooke Army Medical Center
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, Oct. 12, 2012 The nation’s second-highest ranking military officer honored two wounded warriors during a Purple Heart ceremony at the Warrior and Family Support Center here today.
Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pins the Purple Heart medal on Army Spc. Jason Smith during a ceremony at the Warrior and Family Support Center on Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Oct. 12, 2012. U.S. Army photo by Robert Shields
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also visited with patients at the Center for the Intrepid and San Antonio Military Medical Center.
Army Maj. Gen. M. Ted Wong, commander of Brooke Army Medical Center and Southern Regional Medical Command, opened the Purple Heart ceremony followed by Winnefeld, who presented the Purple Heart medals and certificates.
“It is great to be back in Texas,” the vice chairman said during the ceremony. “There is no place other than Texas that truly supports our airmen, soldiers, sailors, and Marines like the way they do here.
Winnefeld welcomed the Purple Heart recipients, Army Sgt. Paul T. Roberts and Army Spc. Jason Smith, with words of praise for their courage, dedication and sacrifices they made to defend the nation.
Roberts was assigned to Company D, 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, serving as a water treatment specialist in Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device detonated, resulting in his combat injuries on Nov. 24, 2011. Smith, an infantryman, was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team when he stepped on a pressure plate IED on July 25, 2012, in Afghanistan, resulting in his combat injuries.
The vice chairman also recognized and acknowledged the wounded warriors whose injuries are not as visible.
“We are going to take care of them [wounded warriors] for many decades to come,” he said.
After the ceremony, Winnefeld visited with about 15 wounded warriors at the Center for the Intrepid, a state-of-the art outpatient rehabilitation facility. The admiral said he was impressed with the wounded warriors who were participating in sports with their leg brace called the IDEO–Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis.
“This is what I came to see,” he said.
Winnefeld visited with and provided patients at the medical center with words of encouragement, praise and gratitude.