Kentucky Guardsman receives Purple Heart

MJO

Story and photos by: Staff Sgt. Gina Vaile-Nelson, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Kentucky Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Chris Eden salutes Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, adjutant general for Kentucky, after receiving the Purple Heart Nov. 6, at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. Eden was presented the award after he was wounded Oct. 30 when his vehicle was hit by an IED in Afghanistan.

Frankfort, Ky. (Nov. 9, 2010) – Staff Sgt. Chris Eden received the Purple Heart Nov. 6, from Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, adjutant general for Kentucky, at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Ky.

Eden is recovering from injuries suffered Oct. 30, when his Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan while on a convoy escort.

Eden said he took the brunt of the blast which hit under his seat, breaking his back.

“I’ve been blessed,” he said. “Things could’ve turned out a lot worse.

“But they didn’t do a good enough job ‘cause here I am,” he said.

His dedication to service and positive outlook on the incident is what Tonini said separates him from others.

“You are a perfect example of a Soldier,” Tonini said. “Everyone admires and asks how we get people like you. We are very fortunate as a nation and as a Kentucky National Guard to have you.

Kentucky Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Chris Eden was awarded the Purple Heart Nov. 6, after receiving wounds in an IED explosion in Afghanistan Oct. 30. Eden was presented the award by Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, adjutant general for Kentucky, in a small ceremony at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. Eden is a member of the Guard's 2123rd Transportation Company and a police officer for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Division of Police

“This is not the presentation that you want to make,” Tonini said, “but after the fact it’s quite an honor to say you gave – you shed your blood for your nation to keep people free. That’s really what it’s all about.”

Eden is no stranger to selfless-service. This was his second deployment in support of the Global War on Terror, with one tour served in Iraq. When he’s not wearing the Army uniform, he serves as a police officer for the Lexington-Fayette County Urban County Division of Police.

“The support that I get from the guys I work with is unbelievable,” he said. “And so is the support I get from my Family.

“I know this has been hard for my mom, but that’s a cross that we bear,” he said.

Eden is assigned to the Richmond, Ky., -based 2123rd Transportation Company, which deployed to Afghanistan in February.

He is from Lexington, Ky., where he lives with his wife, Dana. He is the son of Judy and Raymond Eden.

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