Monday, October 10, 2011

Purple Heart

Justin received his Purple Heart today from President Barack Obama. He was 1 of 3 honorees who received the award from the President today. Normally the Commandant or Assistant Commandant would present it for the Marines and the same equivalent for the other branches of service. President Obama visits the troops every six months and will present a few of the Purple Hearts when he visits. Justin is one of a small group to receive their purple heart from President Obama.

Today was a very long day and we had to be to the hospital by 5 am. We didn't want to take a chance of getting locked out by the secret service. I will blog tomorrow about the whole experience. As for Justin he will just being going for washouts tomorrow. The hand surgeon and plastic surgeon want to discuss other options for his hands that might decrease the length of the surgery. Justin was not feeling so well this afternoon after the ceremony, but finally started feeling better tonight. We are hoping he gets a good night sleep because he had a very long day.

I know we have not mentioned the full extend of Justin's injuries, but he has given us permission. Justin is a bilateral above the knee amputee. (He is very lucky that both legs are directly above the knee) Justin is missing his right thumb. His left pinky finger, his metacarpal bone to his ring finger, and 1/2 of his middle finger on left hand. Justin may loose the ring finger on the left hand but that is part of the hand flaps dilemma. The explosion also cause pneumonia, and two pulmonary embolisms to his lungs (blood clots). He has also had repeated collapsed lungs and just recently discovered hole in his heart known as ASD. Thankfully his brain is fine and he did not suffer any type of head injury. Initially Justin was fortunate because he didn't have any trauma from the mid thigh up (minus the hands). He now has an abdominal incision because of surgery last week. We were amazed that he didn't have a scratch or bruise  from mid thigh to face when we first saw him.

We wanted to explain the injuries because pictures will be circulating around. Attached below are pictures from today. We will receive the official pictures from the White House staff within a month.

 This is a picture of Justin and two of the guys in his Battery Echo 1/12. Murphy and Mike! They both came to watch Justin's ceremony.
 My parents with Justin right before his Purple Heart ceremony.

 Waiting to present the Purple Heart!

 Justin just hanging out and waiting for the President!

 President Obama and Justin!

 Pinning his Purple Heart!


  1. I was watching the ABC 7 11:00 news tonight and the top story was all about Justin. They did a really nice job covering all the details. The report showed a lot of pictures of the family, the President awarding the Purple Heart, talked about his upcoming surgery and the car show in support of Justin and the family. They now have a link on ABC 7 to Justin’s website. Was such a surprise and very well done. Hope this will bring a smile in these difficult times. Heather

  2. How exciting to see Justin on Channel 4 news this morning just as I was leaving for work. What a great honor. Glad all is going well. Keeping all of you in my prayers.


  3. What a deserving honor for such a heroic warrior! The medal is so well deserved.

    Thank you,Justin, for keeping us all safe here at home.

    I am a "shirt tail" relative from your family in California, but read about you on the Facebook postings.

    Prayers are with you, always....

  4. We here at Images of Pomona would like to wish you all the best,and your family. And thank you for all you have done.