The Purple Heart, a medal that recognizes the physical sacrifice of those who went into harm's way.
Indiana guardsman Douglas Rachowicz was seriously wounded by an IED that killed four of his fellow soldiers in January. On Friday, specialist Rachowicz received a Purple Heart at the Valparaiso Armory…after months of rehab…and coping with the loss of his friends in Afghanistan.
The parents of one of those soldiers attended the ceremony:
“It is bittersweet that our son couldn't be here, because he would have loved to be here supporting Doug,” said Mary Patterson. “He just know he's up ... looking down on us.
Rachowicz didn't know the others in his vehicle were dead for almost two months. His family waited until a week after he regained consciousness to tell him.