13th SC(E) Purple Heart Ceremony
By Spc Fabian Ortega
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) PAO
The Purple Heart was awarded to two Soldiers from 565th Quartermaster Company, Special Troops Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) in a ceremony at the 13th SC (E) Chapel May 23.
Spc. Brian Smith and Spc. Deepak Prasad, supply specialists with the 565th, were presented with the award by Major Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, 4th Infantry Division commanding general.
The Purple Heart, awarded to U.S. service members wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy, is one of the most recognized and respected military decorations.
“No other ceremony is more important than the one today,” said Hammond as he addressed a chapel full of Soldiers and others.
These are incredibly talented men, Hammond said.
Smith and Prasad were on a mission returning to their Forward Operating base from Camp Bucca when their convoy was struck by an Explosively-Formed Projectile.
Smith was a passenger and Prasad was the gunner when the EFP struck their army security vehicle. The blast wave immediately shattered Prasad’s right knee and fractured Smith’s face on the entire right side.
Smith sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spent the next weeks recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.
“I’m proud and happy to be alive,” Smith said.
Prasad and Smith said the hardest part of dealing with their injuries has been the recovery process.
Prasad is rehabbing his knee and is able to walk.
Smith is currently waiting for a prosthetic eye and eye lid surgery in hopes of being able to continue his service in the Army
“If the Army will let me, I will stay in twenty years,” said Smith.
Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, 4th Infantry Division commanding general, pins the Purple Hearth award on Spc. Deepak Prasad, a supply specialist with the 565th Quartermaster Company, Special Troops Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) in a ceremony held at the 13th SC (E) Chapel May 23.