Purple Heart given to soldier injured in Afghanistan

Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 6:22 PM
Last updated Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 1:29 AM
  • Follow Latest News

Sgt. Gregory Cook received an award Fri­day he hoped never to have pinned on his uniform.

Back | Next
Sgt. Gregory Cook, of the Warrior Transition Battalion, was presented with the Purple Heart in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center Auditorium. Cook earned the Purple Heart while serving in Argan Dab River Valley in Afghanistan as a squad leader with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division in 2011.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Sgt. Gregory Cook, of the Warrior Transition Battalion, was presented with the Purple Heart in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center Auditorium. Cook earned the Purple Heart while serving in Argan Dab River Valley in Afghanistan as a squad leader with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division in 2011.

Cook was given a Purple Heart for wounds he sustained while on patrol in the Ar­ghandab River Valley in Afghanistan.

“It’s one award I did not want to get – you have to get hurt,” Cook said after an awards ceremony at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon.

On Aug. 27, 2011, Cook was leading a patrol of Afghan National Police and American soldiers to investigate a suspected improvised explosive device.

After the search was cleared, an Afghan policeman following Cook stepped on a pressure-plate IED.

The explosion launched Cook forward 10 to 15 feet.

“It knocked me unconscious for a little bit,” Cook said. “Then I got up, realized I had my hands and feet and I’m still breathing.”

The Huntsville, Ala., man had experienced six IED blasts during a previous deployment to Afghanistan in 2009.

He was honored Friday for his valor and leadership completing the 2011 patrol. He gave aid to an injured Afghan soldier and led the group back to post, where he got medical attention for himself.

“In the military, one of the first things you are taught is to continue the mission,” he said. “You always keep fighting on.”

The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration still in use and was first championed by Gen. George Washington. It’s reserved for soldiers “injured by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy.”

After Col. Christopher Castle, the commander of Eisenhower, pinned the Purple Heart on Cook, family and service members lined up to shake the soldier’s hand.

“When he came to, he did what good sergeants do,” Castle said. “He got busy.”

Cook continued serving in Afghanistan until he sustained another injury. His
hand was slammed in the door of a patrol vehicle.

He has been treated in a traumatic brain injury clinic at Fort Gordon, correcting some memory loss. Cook had surgery on
his hand and regained full motion and strength.

Comments (1) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
bubbasauce
23036
Points
bubbasauce 02/10/13 - 12:23 pm
0
0
Thank you very much for your

Thank you very much for your service to this great country Sgt. Cook!

Back to Top

Top headlines

Georgia Regents' hospital plan chosen

Georgia Regents Medical Center won a lengthy and hardfought battle over two other Augusta hospitals to build the first hospital in Columbia County, the Georgia Department of Community Health ...
Search Augusta jobs