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Medic Earns Three Purple Hearts During One Deployment to Iraq (John Kerry he ain't!)
American Forces Press Service ^ | Samantha L. Quigley

Posted on 12/01/2008 3:30:25 PM PST by SandRat

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2008 – If Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Sims was a cat, he’d have only six lives left after his yearlong deployment to Iraq with the 1st Armored Division’s Company B, 270th Armor Battalion, out of Fort Riley, Kan.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Sims, a medic who was wounded three times during his last deployment to Iraq, is preparing to deploy again. Courtesy photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“I was wounded three times in Iraq the last time I was there,” Sims said of the deployment that began in January 2005.

Sims, a medic, was riding in a tracked ambulance between two M1-A1 Abrams tanks when a roadside bomb detonated. Shrapnel pierced the vehicle and penetrated his flak vest, puncturing his left lung.

He was evacuated to the hospital in Balad. He spent about three weeks recovering before returning to his unit, but it was only the first of three stays at the hospital.

“They know me there,” he said with a chuckle.

Three months after he’d returned to duty, his unit was on a foot patrol when it started taking enemy mortar fire. One mortar landed near Sims.

“Shrapnel hit near my lower left leg, penetrating through the front lower part and coming out the back,” he said. “[I] almost, almost lost that limb in that incident, but everything’s fine now.”

Again, Sims was transported to Balad, where he spent another four weeks recovering from his injuries before rejoining his unit to finish his tour.

Unfortunately, he would endure one more interruption before rotating back home.

It was about 4 a.m., and Company B was patrolling Main Supply Route Tampa, one of the main roads in Iraq, when Sims, who was riding in an Abrams tank, started seeing flashes in the distance. He doesn’t remember anything after calling in the attack, however.

“I took a sniper bullet – 7.62 mm – to the front of the helmet -- straight in front, almost right between the eyes,” Sims said. The bullet fractured his neck and skull and knocked him unconscious.

“I fell into the turret of the tank,” he said, “and when … [it] turned to fire at the enemy, it broke my right femur.”

That earned him a two-month stay in the Balad hospital. He said the care he received there was excellent, and he gave the men in his unit kudos for their part in his survival and recovery.

“I attribute a lot of my speedy recovery … [to] the care that I received actually on site at the point of injury -- quick response from all the people that were there,” he said, referring to the soldiers he’d trained in the new Combat Life Saver program. “The people that were actually treating me were people that I had trained. By the time I got to Balad, I was pretty much good to go. They just had to kind of patch me up.”

Sims’ last tour in Iraq may have resulted in three Purple Hearts, but he said he’s not hesitant about returning.

“No, not at all,” he said. “I think that it’s a lot safer than when I was there. I think the time that I was there, it was right around the national election time, [and] it was really the peak of all the main [bomb] attacks.

“I think now, it’s almost 100 percent turnaround,” he added.

It’s good he’s not timid about returning. His current unit, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Engineer Battalion based out of Schweinfurt, Germany, is certain to deploy at some time.

“We’re trying to get all the equipment in and get this unit stood up, because it’s the only construction battalion in Europe right now,” Sims said. “So, we don’t know exactly where we’re going yet, but we know we’re going to go somewhere.”

Sims, who has served 10 years since enlisting right out of high school, recently re-enlisted indefinitely. He hopes to become a doctor or a physician assistant, he said, but he has his sights on one of the Army’s top spots if he remains in the Army as an enlisted soldier. He said he’d like to be the first medic to serve as sergeant major of the Army.

“As a medic, you get a broad spectrum of everything that’s in the Army,” he added. “You can go to any type of unit, so you’re more well-rounded, I think.”

Sims and his wife call St. Charles, Mo., home.

Click photo for screen-resolution image The helmet of Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Sims, a medic then assigned to the 1st Armored Division’s Company B, 270th Armor Battalion, bears the scars it incurred one of three times he was wounded during a 2005 tour of duty in Iraq. Courtesy photo   
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TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; US: Kansas; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: frwn; iraq; medic; mohammedanism; purplehearts

1 posted on 12/01/2008 3:30:25 PM PST by SandRat
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To: 91B; HiJinx; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; clintonh8r; TEXOKIE; windchime; freekitty; A Navy Vet; ...
If you would like to be added to / removed from FRWN,
please FReepmail Sandrat.


2 posted on 12/01/2008 3:30:45 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: SandRat

Under the Kerry rules, Plaxico Dumba$$ would get one...

/poor sarc

3 posted on 12/01/2008 3:34:39 PM PST by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: SandRat

Where do we find these fine young men?

We are truly blessed as a country.

May God Bless him and keep him!!!

4 posted on 12/01/2008 3:45:50 PM PST by Leofl (I'm from Texas, we don't dial 9-11)
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To: SandRat

Pretty Tough!!

..and he aint even “Cav”.

5 posted on 12/01/2008 3:47:51 PM PST by Delta 21 ( MKC USCG - ret)
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To: SandRat

My nephew, a top sgt in the reserves, was in a humvee in Afghanistan when they came under attack by six enemy combatants. The humvee was hit by an rpg and my nephew was severely injured. Before the missile hit, a young private, never before having been in combat, took out 5 of the 6. The sixth one fired the rpg. The missile knocked the young private off the turret and he fell on my nephew. My nephew was about to rendered aid to the private when the private said, “You’re a lot worse off than I am, Tops.” Shrapnel had penetrated my nephew’s head at the temple. He’s okay now, thank God.

I’m really impressed with that young private. He got, and deserved, the Bronze Star w/V.

6 posted on 12/01/2008 3:48:13 PM PST by Terry Mross
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To: SandRat

Damn, glad he’s on our side!

7 posted on 12/01/2008 3:52:10 PM PST by Eagle Eye (Libs- If you don't have to play the rules then neither do we...THINK ABOUT IT!)
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To: SandRat


8 posted on 12/01/2008 3:53:59 PM PST by SJSAMPLE
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To: SandRat

If you spend weeks in a hospital recovering you most definitely earned a purple heart. Kerry spent a total of zero days in a hospital.

9 posted on 12/01/2008 4:00:04 PM PST by yazoo
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To: SandRat

Damned proud of you Sgt. Sims. Damned proud.

10 posted on 12/01/2008 4:02:12 PM PST by NonValueAdded (once you get to really know people, there are always better reasons than [race] for despising them.)
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11 posted on 12/01/2008 4:21:10 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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