LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – The Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U.S. Service members.
Now, the Kentucky Army National Guardsman, Sgt. Jesse Wethington of Liberty, Kentucky is the latest soldier to receive the award.
Senator Mitch McConnell was on hand to present the award to Wethington for the injuries he received during combat in Iraq.
Sgt. Wethington suffered traumatic brain injuries after an IED exploded and hit his Humvee during a tour of duty in 2005. He still struggles with his injuries today.
Sgt. Wethington humbly accepted the award, with few words to say publicly.
It’s not an award you want to receive because it means you were injured in such a way. It’s a award you would rather not receive. But it’s going to if it need be. But if you are, to respect it,” Staff Sgt. Glenn Phillips said.
Sgt. Wethington’s service is the latest chapter in a long and unbroken line of heroism and sacrifice.
He is one of 1.6 million soldiers to ever receive the award.