Local soldier receives Purple Heart

Soldier receives Purple Heart

FORT GORDON, GA (WFXG) - A CSRA soldier was awarded for his bravery during combat.

Specialist Joshua Cleveland received the Purple Heart for his service during a ceremony Thursday at Fort Gordon.

Last summer, Cleveland, a native of Edgefield, S.C., survived a near-death experience in Afghanistan when his vehicle was ambushed. His vehicle ran over a road bomb and was hit multiple times by grenades.

While receiving the oldest award in the military, all Cleveland could think about was how lucky he was to be alive.

"It could have been worse than what it was," Cleveland said. "I could have never of made it back home, other than in a box."

The Purple Heart medal is awarded to members of the armed forces who are wounded during war.

"There's a lot more out there that's deserving of this award, but I just thank the military for bringing him home," Cleveland's brother, Chris, said.

Cleveland's family describes this award as bittersweet. It celebrates his bravery, but he'll always have to live with wounds he received while at war.

Cleveland sustained multiple injuries including a dislocated shoulder and traumatic brain injury. His family is just glad he's back in one piece.

"I'm just glad he's home. I'm thankful that he was trained the way he was trained. Our Army has done a great job training our boys," Chris Cleveland said.

Specialist Joshua Cleveland is still receiving treatment for the brain injury he received in Afghanistan, and is now a member of the Wounded Warrior Project.

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