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Utah man awarded Purple Heart for Afghanistan wounds

Published January 26, 2014 2:01 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Pleasant Grove man received the Purple Heart medal in a ceremony Saturday at Camp Williams.

Spc. Joey Artalejo, of the 118th Engineer (Sapper) Company, Utah Army National Guard, was wounded by an improvised-explosive device that struck his armored vehicle while he was on a route-clearing mission in Khowst Province, Afghanistan, Dec. 24, 2010.

After a 10-day hospitalization, he returned to duty in Afghanistan and completed his deployment with the 118th, returning to Utah in July 2011. He is still experiencing the effects of the traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder that resulted from the incident, according to a Guard news release.

Artalejo, who works at Kennecott Copper in Bingham Canyon, was actually wounded twice by IED's, the first incidence occurring in September 2010. He incurred similar injuries in that attack.

For more information on the 118th's mission, go to http://bit.ly/LZFRHW.