Tragedy in Tucson - Time to Heal

Mar 16, 2011 3:34 PM

Iraq vet to give Purple Heart to Rep. Giffords

TUCSON - A U.S. Army veteran who was awarded the Purple Heart for serious injuries in Iraq will give the military honor to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' office to be presented to the congresswoman.

According to release from the office of Rep. Giffords, Al Lee of Sierra Vista was given the Purple Heart after being injured during combat in Fallujah, Iraq in September 2003. An improvised explosive device caused traumatic brain injury and other wounds.

"Congresswoman Giffords deserves this honor," said Lee. "She was injured in the line of duty."

Giffords' office said Lee will present the award to Pam Simon this afternoon. Simon, a Giffords staff member, was shot twice on January 8 and returned to work recently. A staff member will deliver the Purple Heart to Rep. Giffords this weekend at the Houston hospital where she is rehabilitating from a gunshot wound to the head.

Lee said that Rep. Giffords has been a strong advocate for veterans and active-duty military, serving on the House Armed Services Committee.

Lee is the commander of the Sierra Vista chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and is leaving Thursday for Okinawa, where he will serve as a civilian anti-terror advisor for the Marines.


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