Brigadier General (R) James A. Herbert, one of the founding fathers of the US Army Ranger School, presented three wounded warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan a hand-carved wooden Purple Heart plaque in recognition of wounds they received in the Nation’s defense. General Herbert was himself seriously wounded 3 times during the Korean War before completing five tours in Vietnam and more than 30 years of special operations service.
The recipients of the plaques were: Garry Thompson, US Army, Dennis Leonard, US Army, and Jared Kreiser, US Marine Corps. All three warriors endured catastrophic combat injuries. They now receive their care at the Lebanon VA Medical Center.
The plaques are the creation of Korean War Veteran, Leon Moyen who currently resides in Ontario, Canada. Mr. Moyen uses a variety of different woods to give the plaque its color. He then makes an intricate carving of George Washington, the creator of the Purple Heart Medal, and places it on the front of the Purple Heart as is done with the actual medals. The Purple Heart medal is earned for being wounded by forces hostile to the United States.
Following the brief ceremony, Teresa Stump-Klinger, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, at the VA said, “These gentlemen are who make my work so rewarding. I try to assist them, but instead, I often find myself inspired by their courage, determination and tenacity. I am so proud of them and what VA does for them.”
Kreiser, whose father was also a Marine, stated, “It’s very thoughtful of the General to do this. He is a great warrior. The fact that he would take the time to recognize us really means a lot to me. I receive wonderful care at the VA and meet all sorts of super people there like the General.”
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