Utah man awarded Purple Heart for Afghanistan wounds
Published: January 26, 2014 02:01PM
Updated: January 26, 2014 02:01PM
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Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune Spc. Jose "Joe" Artalejo, holds his Purple Heart after it was presented Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at Camp Williams. Artalejo, formerly of the 118th Engineer (Sapper) Company, Utah Army National Guard, received the Purple Heart in a ceremony Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at Camp Williams. Artalejo, of Pleasant Grove, qualified for the Purple Heart due to wounds he received during an improvised-explosive-device incident on Dec. 24, 2010, in Khowst Province, Afghanistan.

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.