Ft. Hood Soldiers Receive Purple Hearts - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Ft. Hood Soldiers Receive Purple Hearts

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FT. HOOD -

(KCEN) – On Thursday seven Fort Hood soldiers received the Purple Heart for their injuries during combat in Afghanistan last year.

While the seven soldiers stared out at their families and fellow soldiers… a pair of black sneakers stood among the combat boots. Those shoes belonged to Specialist Jason Walker.

"Every day there's a new challenge," Jason said. "I just take it a little bit each day."

But a "little bit each day" is an understatement. Jason hasn't rested since he returned from Afghanistan where he lost his left foot and severely damaged his right in an IED blast. Since September he's undergone 14 surgeries, was fitted with a new prosthetic, and through the pain learned out to walk again.

"I don't want to have to make society adapt to me, I want to adapt with society," Jason said.

Just last month with the help of his crutches, Jason walked in with his deployment brothers for their welcome home ceremony. It was a huge triumph for Jason, and on Thursday another victory.

As his name was called during the Purple Heart ceremony Jason walked across the stage, this time with no crutches. The sight brought hope to his fellow soldiers, and tears to his wife Ashlie.

"I was amazed he walked without the crutches. It blew me away," she said. "But you know, he amazes me every day and this is just a prime example of who my husband is."

Proudly Jason stood with the other six soldiers to be pinned with their Purple Hearts. However, his battle, like many of theirs, is far from over.

But he says he will be in control of his own recovery, never letting it take over who he really is. "No matter what happens in life there is a way out, and there is a way to overcome whatever battle you are given," he said.

The following are the seven soldiers who received Purple Hearts on Thursday: PFC Danielle Robeldo, SGT Joe Deleon, SPC Jason Walker, SPC Karon Meyers, SGT Jesus Perez, PFC Johnny Beck, PFC Michael McKenzie.

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