BROOKLYN PARK - Six years after he was wounded by an explosion in Iraq, a 34-year-old New Ulm native received a Purple Heart Award Saturday at the Brooklyn Park Armory/Community Center.
Retired Minnesota National Guard Sergeant Jesse R. Lund, the son of Margaret Lund of New Ulm and Larry Lund of Sleepy Eye, served as a driver, gunner and sentry in Iraq. While conducting convoy operations in Balad, Iraq on June 29, 2006, his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED), resulting in combat injuries.
The blast wounded Lund and killed another Minnesota soldier that was riding in the vehicle - 19-year-old Specialist Kyle Miller of Willmar. Lund was assigned to the New Ulm-based 1-125 Field Artillery, 134th Brigade Support Battalion (BSB) until Dec. 10, 2007 when he was transferred to St. Peter-based 134th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade combat Team, 34th Infantry Division.
Jesse Lund, right poses with his family, (from left) Darcy, Jaxon, Kadence and Ethan, after receiving his Purple Heart award for injuries suffered six years ago while serving in Iraq.
"Since the explosion, Jesse has been working with the Veteran's Administration on issues including loss of sleep, hearing loss and headaches," his wife Darcy said.
Lund received many awards during his military service. The list included the Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal. Navy Unit Commendation, Army Good Conduct Medal, Armed Forces Expedition Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/M device, Driving & Mechanic Badge, Navy Sea Service Ribbon, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Lund and his wife Darcy have three children, Kadence 7, Ethan 4 and Jaxon two months and live in New Ulm.
The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in the world in present use and the first American award made available to the common soldier. The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy, and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action.
Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org