Army sergeant receives second Purple Heart

Sgt. 1st Class Randy Hargis plans to become combat instructor

Author: Jenna Hiller, Reporter,
Published On: Jan 04 2013 04:41:13 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 04 2013 05:37:13 PM CST

An Army sergeant who was injured in Afghanistan last year received his second purple heart at Brooke Army Medical Center.

Sgt. 1st Class Randy Hargis was clearing a route as a combat engineer in Afghanistan on Oct. 19, 2011, when an improvised explosive device detonated on him.

"The only way to finish up doing the clearing was by getting on-ground, get on-foot, with a mine detector, and I found the IED," Hargis said.

Gen. Robert Cone presented the medal to Hargis. He said Hargis' leadership is an inspiration to soldiers.

"Here's a leader who comes in to a very difficult situation, uncertain what sort of mines are out in front of his unit, and he decides that he's the most experienced, so he takes the lead," Cone said.

Hargis said the adrenaline rush is what kept him going after his first injury.

"Just the fact of finding something that could injure you or anybody else, and destroying it before it does," he said.

But his wife has had enough.

Hargis said she was devastated the first time she got a call saying he had been injured -- and twice is all she can take.

"She says, 'Honey, you're not a cat. It's time to change careers,'" Hargis said.

He plans to stay in the military, but deployments are behind him. He will become an instructor.

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