Texas State Guard Soldier Receives Purple Heart

1st Lieutenant Christopher Beck of the Texas State Guard was recently awarded the United States Military Purple Heart. 1st. LT Beck served in Operation Iraqi Freedom III and while medically evacuating an injured soldier he he was injured when a mortar round landed near him. The Commanding General of the Texas State Guard, Brigadier General Anthony Woods, also a Combat Veteran, was on hand to present the medal to 1st LT. Beck. The Purple Heart is the first US Military award ever created. It was instituted by General George Washington during the American Revolution for those wounded or killed in the service of their country.

The Commanding General also presented the State Guard Association of the United States Medal of Merit to Staff Sergeant Jason Zachman. The SGAUS Medal of Merit is presented to individuals who have performed honorable service as well as performing an act of valor at the risk of life or personal injury.

During a promotions and awards ceremony for Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Brigade, two special awards were presented by Brig. Gen. Anthony Woods, Commander, Texas State Guard, the Texas Purple Heart to 1Lt. Christopher Beck and the State Guard Association of the United States Medal of Merit to Staff Sgt. Jason Zachman at the Texas National Guard Armory, in Lubbock, Texas, August 23, 2022. Beck, a combat veteran, is recognized for medically evacuating an injured soldier and providing medical support to others during a mortar round fired during Operation Iraqi Freedom III. Zachman is recognized for providing rapid emergency response to two life saving medical emergencies. Congrats to all the awardees and promotees! #TexansServingTexas #Duty #Honor #Texas

‘A real live hero’: Texas State Guard awards, promotions and honors

Published: Aug. 21, 2022 at 10:12 AM EDT

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – The Texas State Guard awarded several honorable awards and promotions in Lubbock on Saturday morning.

These honors included one State Guard Association of the United States (SGAUS) Medal of Merit, one Texas Purple Heart, seven Commanding General’s Individual Awards and three promotions in Lubbock Saturday morning.

The Texas Purple Heart, awarded to Lieutenant Christopher Beck, is the first of it’s kind. Commanding Brigadier General Anthony Woods says history was made today with this award.

“Even when soldiers are no longer able to, to serve on active duty, they can still serve, and serve in the state of Texas,” Woods said. “So, that’s what that means to us and that’s why we’re so proud of it.”

Woods stated it is important to understand the gravity of being wounded in combat and acknowledge what these soldiers give up.

“Recognize the sacrifices to be injured in combat, and thank goodness the federal government recognized that, but for us to also come back and recognize that,” Woods said.

At today’s award ceremony, Woods recognized Beck’s family members as well. They also made incredible sacrifices, according to Woods.

“Regardless if you’re in combat or not, they worry about car accidents, falling off the back of a truck,” Woods said. “So, there’s a lot of worry going on and so, so I think it’s important that we recognize that, and we appreciate that.”

Woods says men and women who serve on the state guard do not get paid.

“You’re doing it because you care, and that’s the motto of us is taking care of Texas,” Woods said, addressing a sergeant. “Sergeant Zachman, I just want to tell you, thank you for being an example of that.”

Sergeant Zachman received the SGAUS Medal of Merit with Gold Star for heroism. Woods says he shows aggression that is needed.

Men and women in the Texas State Guard also serve to earn promotions.

“People join the State Guard for three reasons: to promote, to serve and to grow,” Woods said. “So, all we can do is promote and show that we appreciate them by giving them awards.”

Those promotions often demonstrate that they are responsible and work well under stress.

Woods also hopes to show the public the State Guard is here to protect them.

“When there’s a major, major event, we can deploy within a 24-hour period, while it takes the national guard a little longer to deploy,” Woods said.

Woods says there are not enough awards to present for the sacrifices and responsibilities these men and women place on themselves.

The following were awarded or promoted:

  • Lt. Beck Texas Purple Heart
  • SSG Zachman SGAUS Medal of Merit with Gold Star for heroism
  • Jennifer Thurman promoted from Private Second Class to Private First Class
  • Neely Cross promoted from Private Second Class to Private First Class
  • Jacob Tarango promoted from Private Second Class to Private First Class
  • Private First Class Maria Azua Commanding Generals Individual Awards
  • Private Second Class Julie Hobbs Commanding Generals Individual Awards
  • Sergeant Hayden Gray
  • SSG Derald Mabbit
  • Sergeant Rusty Castillo
  • Private First Class Luanne Peaselee
  • Jennifer Thumma

Source: Texas State GuardKCBD 11SGAUSBrittanica

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