Story and photo by Dustin Senger
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.