Army opens new barracks for recovering soldiers

Ribbon-cutting highlighted by the awarding of a Purple Heart.

Author: Sean Talbot, News Producer, stalbot@ksat.com
Published On: Apr 03 2012 11:25:19 AM CDT
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -

The U.S. Army on Monday cut the ribbon to a new barracks for soldiers injured while at war.

The Liberty Barracks was built at a cost of $48 million dollars. It is 216,000 square feet and has 180 suites, each with two bedrooms. The facility will be able to house 360 wounded service members.

"The purpose is to provide an environment that our soldiers can recover and recuperate from their injuries, illnesses and wounds," Major General Ted Wong, Commanding General at Brooke Army Medical Center, said.

As part of the ceremony, the army awarded a purple heart to Sergeant Richard Rye. Rye was shot while working on a compound in Iraq.

"It's nothing no soldier ever wants to get," Rye said. "But it's something great to receive. It's a great feeling to receive it."

Rye said his lower leg was shattered. He said a halo device is currently keeping his lower leg connected as his bone grows back. He, along with his wife Leda, will continue to live in San Antonio where Rye is undergoing rehab. He says his plan is to stay in the military once he's fully recovered.