Wounded warriors awarded Purple Hearts

Soldiers wounded In Afghanistan recognized during ceremony

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas - Surrounded by loved ones, friends and family, two wounded warriors were presented with Purple Heart awards during a ceremony at Fort Sam Houston on Tuesday morning.

Sgt. Michael Lassey, from San Diego, Calif., received the award for injuries received when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was on patrol in Afghanistan on June 18.

"It's a very prestigious award. Only so many people have it but definitely under the circumstances of getting it, it's hard to feel so joyful or excited about it," said Lassey.

Sgt. James Abdulaziz, from Austin, was also wounded in Afghanistan. His injuries happened on June 19. He was shot in the leg, chest and shoulder when his base was attacked.

"For me to wear this, it's an honor because I have a lot of fallen comrades who are not here to give the same interview. They received the same award, so for me to be alive and actually hold this award on my chest is a big honor, so it means a lot to me," said Abdulaziz

Both men are in wheelchairs but are expected to walk again in the future.

Both are being treated at Brooke Army Medical Center.

However, it's expected to be a long road to recovery.

And although both men say it's been a trying time, neither has regrets.

"I'm going to be getting out of the military but I still don't regret joining the military," said Lassey. "I enjoyed working for the military and serving my country and helping with the whole freedom side of our country." 

"I'd do it again if I had to. If I had to go there at 3 in the morning and fight again, I'd do it again," said Abdulaziz.

For a list of recent stories Eileen Gonzales has done, click here.


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