Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Soldier earns Purple Heart, credits boots

Brig. Gen. James H. Doty Jr., acting senior commander, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, shakes hands with Purple Heart recipient Spc. Joshua Cressey Nov. 22, outside the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div. headquarters building at Fort Carson. Cressey an infantryman with Company C, 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., received the medal for battlefield injuries in August, while patrolling Arghandab River Valley, Afghanistan.

Brig. Gen. James H. Doty Jr., acting senior commander, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, shakes hands with Purple Heart recipient Spc. Joshua Cressey Nov. 22, outside the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div. headquarters building at Fort Carson. Cressey an infantryman with Company C, 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., received the medal for battlefield injuries in August, while patrolling Arghandab River Valley, Afghanistan.

Story and photo by Dustin Senger

Mountaineer staff

Spc. Joshua Cressey received the Purple Heart Nov. 22, outside the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division headquarters building at Fort Carson – three months after stepping on a land mine.

Brig. Gen. James H. Doty Jr., acting senior commander, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, awarded the Purple Heart to Cressey, an infantryman with Company C, 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., for battlefield injuries in August.

“It sucks that I stepped on a land mine, but that’s a small sacrifice for my country,” said Cressy, with the purple-and-gold medal pinned on his camouflage uniform.

While conducting dismounted patrols in Arghandab River Valley, Afghanistan, Cressey triggered an improvised-explosive device entrenched by enemy forces. The resulting blast broke his left ankle and pierced his legs with shrapnel.

“I’m pretty sure the boot saved my foot,” said Cressey, praising a pair of Danner Combat Hikers issued earlier this year. The Army has placed four bulk orders for the boots since November 2008, totaling $22.3 million. LaCrosse Footwear Inc. recently doubled the size of its Danner factory in Portland, Ore.

The Purple Heart recipient’s left heel still hurts, however the Soldier is pursuing a physician’s approval to resume his deployment in Afghanistan.

“I know my unit needs me,” he said, removing the combat decoration from his collar. “I made a promise when I left that I’d return home with them. And, I’m determined to keep that promise.”

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