Purple Heart recipient honored with Distinguished Service Award - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Purple Heart recipient honored with Distinguished Service Award

Retired Staff Sargent Shilo Harris pictured before, during, and after treatment (Source: Provided by family) Retired Staff Sargent Shilo Harris pictured before, during, and after treatment (Source: Provided by family)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

A Purple Heart recipient was honored with the Russ Murphy Ministry Distinguished Service Award on Wednesday.

Retired Staff Sargent Shilo Harris was honored for his career in the military, which ended after his armored vehicle was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device.

That explosion killed three of his fellow soldiers.

Harris survived, but with severe third-degree burns, causing him to lose his ears, the top of his nose, and three fingers, as well as fracturing his left collarbone and C-7 vertebrae.

"Anyone who wears a Purple Heart, I can tell you this, nobody wants a Purple Heart. Ever," Harris said, "But, having something to recognize your sacrifice, the blood that you sacrificed...it's humbling."

Organizers officially announced the beginning of the new 'Monument of Courage' during the lunch.

The monument will be located by the war memorial in Hinckley Park and while it will honor those Purple Heart recipients, the new monument aims to honor every soldier who has suffered for their country.

Brenda Robertson, who lost her son, Ricky Salas Jr., two months after he was deployed, says the monument is important because it will stand as a permanent reminder of the sacrifices made.

"To know that our soldiers weren't forgotten, so many times we feel like the war, it's happening, but our soldiers have been just forgotten, it's over with for us, because people don't remember. So it means a lot to us to know that somebody does remember," she said.

Organizers hope to raise $750,000 for the new monument, something they say they need the public's help to do.

Local organizations will be holding a fundraiser to help raise the money needed to start construction on Oct. 27.

The event will be called 'The Night of Heroes with George O'Brien', with Texas Tech University's only Medal of Honor recipient as the guest of honor.

Harris says this monument is perfect for an area that already bleeds red, white, and blue.

"This city [Lubbock] has become Purple Heart city. West Texas as a whole is just the pinnacle of patriotism. Anytime I come anywhere out in this area, it's patriotism. This monument is one more staple in this community that is going to draw people to this community to say thank you."

We will continue to bring you more updates on this new monument as they become available.

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