Written by Sgt. 1st Class Pete Mayes
101st Sustainment Brigade
Fort Campbell, KY – A Sapper Eagle has finally won his hard-fought battle to receive his long awaited Purple Heart award.
Sgt. 1st Class Alondo Brown, first sergeant of the 887th Engineer Support Company, 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, received the award for injuries he sustained in Baghdad, Iraq in 2006. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, during that deployment.
The paperwork awarding Brown a Purple Heart has been in the works for several years. After several attempts, he finally received his award at a ceremony May 21st, 2012.Previously, TBI was not recognized as an injury. Brown said he was diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome in 2009 and around that time, the Army began to recognize TBI as a war-time injury. Soldiers suffering TBI would later become candidates for a Purple Heart.
Paperwork for Brown’s award was submitted several years ago, but he did not receive the Purple Heart because his records were lost, he said. That began a long paperwork process.
A congressional memorandum was presented to the Army on Brown’s behalf by U.S. Senator Mike Bennet (D-Colorado), and then forwarded to his leaders, Brown said.
Brown said he suffers constant headaches, and has been on several different medications to combat the headaches.
Receiving the medal partially closes the story for him, he said.
“It’s definitely a struggle, and has been a long road, and all I can do is thank God that I’m still alive,” he said. “Normally, you don’t get this award when you’re alive.”
Brown said he wants veterans to keep fighting for what the Army said they are entitled to.
“I’m going to keep fighting for my care and keep fighting for the way-ahead for TBI,” he said. “If there’s anyone out there that I can help as far as how to deal with it and push forward, I would like to do that.”