Local heroes receive Purple Hearts - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Local heroes receive Purple Hearts

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Sergeant Amos Nugent and Lance Corporal Rene Alvarez of the Marine Corps were awarded Purple Hearts Saturday morning for injuries sustained in combat.

These are the second and third Purple Hearts awarded to Marines from Lubbock. 

For Sergeant Nugent, it's been a long time coming. Nugent told us about the event that earned him the Purple Heart:

"It was my fourth IED strike within 30 days. We were on our way up to a base in Southern Afghanistan and I hit an IED on the way up, but it wasn't a vehicle kill. On our way back, I was the second vehicle in the convoy and my vehicle struck an IED. I was knocked unconscious, the driver of the vehicle was ejected, and when I came to, my commander decided to go ahead and medivac us out to the British Hospital."

A few months after his recovery, Sgt.. Nugent hit his fifth IED before returning back to the United States.

Although he put his life on the line for his country, Sgt. Nugent isn't quick to call himself a hero.

"I just feel like every other Sergeant in my unit would've just kept on truckin' and kept on goin' no matter how many IED's we hit. As long as we had all our fingers and toes we would've kept on walkin'."

Lubbock's reserve unit has sent 45 Marines to help in the war effort every year or year and a half since the war began. Lance Corporal Alvarez was one of those who answered the call.

"We're all close to each other," Alvarez said. "We all know everything, all the ups and downs of our friends."

His Purple Heart was earned in a similar way to Sgt. Nugent's on his wife's birthday, the 13th of December.

"It was about 10 whenever I hit my IED. I was unconscious and got flown out right away. I was admitted into the hospital that night," Alvarez said.

He then called his wife Jeanette and explained that something bad had happened. She described it as one of the scariest moments in her life.

"He told me to sit down and told me what happened. I was grateful to know that he was alive in the first place, but it was scary," she said.

Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Bennett, Commanding officer of the Reserve unit in Lubbock said Sgt. Nugent and Lance Corporal Alvarez are men of great character.

"Both of the young men are outstanding young men, they exemplify our reserve program here in the Marine Corps and what we strive for in that program," Bennett said.

Lance Corporal Alvarez is going to continue to remain active, but for Sgt. Nugent, it's time to move on to bigger and better things.

"I'm pursuing a business management degree at Texas Tech and I manage an insurance company in town part time," Nugent said.

No matter what they do, they will always be American heroes.

Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.
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