Local News

Bragg Soldier Receives Purple Heart While Other Awaits His Own

Posted January 22, 2004 3:01 a.m. EST

— While many soldiers have died in Iraq, even more have been wounded. Two soldiers have a story to tell about what happened to them in Iraq.

Sgt. Michael Grose II and Pfc. George Perez were in their unit patrolling an area outside Fallujah when they drove over a bomb.

"It's just the biggest noise you've ever heard, I guess. A real deafening noise and after that, things go black for a minute and you wake up and realize you got to get out of that truck," Grose said.

"I finally hit the ground. I didn't feel any pain in the beginning, but I was screaming when I see my leg on top of my knee and stuff," Perez said.

Grose's hand was crushed as a result of the blast and Perez lost part of his leg. One soldier was killed in the blast. Three others were wounded. Still, Grose and Perez said they consider themselves the lucky ones.

Grose was awarded the Purple Heart while Perez expects the same medal soon.

Perez said he plans on getting a prosthetic leg and staying in the Army. Grose said he plans to leave military life to join college. He said he is interested in a career in journalism.