LANSING, Mich. — On Jan. 23, 2022 Soldiers of the Michigan National Guard (MING) were awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during a ballistic missile attack.
“I am honored to recognize these Soldiers whose dedication and commitment to their mission was clearly demonstrated by their actions while deployed in Iraq,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “On behalf of the entire state of Michigan, thank you for your service to our state and nation. You are the embodiment of bravery and valor and represent the best of us.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer presented the award at the Grand Ledge Army Aviation Support Facility. During the attack on Jan. 8, 2022, the injured soldiers were MEDEVAC personnel within Detachment 1, Company C, 3-238th General Support Aviation Battalion.
Three soldiers, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jason Zylstra, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Goebel, and Sgt. Joseph Suchowolec, were present to receive the Purple Heart. Sgt. Andrew Burton, formerly with the MING, Warrant Officer Dalton Hamilton and Sgt. Derrick Bimer were unable to attend. Sgt. 1st Class Leonard Adams who was awarded the Purple Heart on May 5, 2020, in a ceremony at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was also recognized at the ceremony the State of Michigan reports.
“These Soldiers answered the call to serve and performed admirably while deployed to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general, and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “We owe them and their families our sincerest appreciation and gratitude for putting themselves in harm’s way so that we can continue to enjoy our freedoms.”
The Purple Heart is awarded to those wounded or killed while serving the U.S. military and was originally established by General George Washington as the Badge of Military Merit.