Soldier awarded Purple Heart at Fort Gordon - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Soldier awarded Purple Heart at Fort Gordon

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FORT GORDON, GA (WFXG) -

The Army has taken Sgt. Gregory Cook to Afghanistan twice. During his first deployment in 2009, he survived six IED explosions. 

"I lost a lot of sleep the first two or three months and then I finally had to realize that I had to turn him over into God's hands because it was too big for me," said Margaret Walker, Cook's mother.

Cook survived his seventh IED explosion in August last year, during his second deployment while he was patrolling with Afghanistan national policemen.

The blast threw Cook about 20 feet and he was knocked unconscious.

When he regained consciousness he finished his patrol and wasn't evacuated until his patrol was out safely. 

His peers say that's why he's being recognized, because each time they were in danger he was always in the fight, looking out for his soldiers. 

"It didn't matter, it didn't stop me, what made me not want to slow down was the fact that if they could do it, I could do it too."

The way he consistently put his fellow soldiers before himself is why he was awarded the Purple Heart Friday. 

"I can't really explain the feeling, it's very joyful," said Cook.

He stayed in Afghanistan until his hand was crushed during a vehicle accident.

He has been treated at the Dwight Eisenhower Medical Center for the past year as a part of the Warrior Transition Battalion. He says his hand has fully recovered but he still suffers from migraines.

Even though some signs of war remain, the Purple Heart on his chest shows that he will always have the gratitude of the nation for putting on a uniform and putting himself in harm's way.

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