My name is SSG William Vanstory. I joined the military in 2009 and did a deployment to Afghanistan in 2010 and did a deployment to Egypt in 2014. I was with 4th brigade 10th mountain division 2-4 infantry. In December 2010, I stepped on a dismounted IED before crossing a foot bridge to head back to our COP. I was thrown over 10 feet backwards and knocked out from the explosion. I came to and was strapped to a litter. I had a few cuts and lacerations but luckily the IED was buried too deep to gravely wound me. I received my first Purple Heart during this encounter.
I continued our deployment as this was the second month we were in-country. Now, take it to August 2011. We were riding in an MRAP which light infantry never did, and our vehicle was hit by and IED lifting our truck off the ground and slinging up around in the cab of the vehicle. Needless to say, more cuts and lacerations along with being sore for the next few weeks. I finished our deployment and stayed infantry till Dec 2015.
I received my second Purple Heart in August 2011. I was able to overcome all the pain and aches to deploy to Egypt in 2014 and win the Force Skills competition, which consisted of 12 contingents that the United States Army hadn’t won in several years. The culmination of my career. Upon returning from Egypt, I found out I still had two broken vertebrae and two torn shoulders and was medically discharged from the Army in December 2015. Hell of a time and loved every minute of it.
If you, your family member or friend has been the recipient of a Purple Heart, we would like to hear your story.