PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – A Utah soldier who returned from serving on active duty in Afghanistan in 2011 was awarded a Purple Heart Saturday at a ceremony held at Camp Williams.
Spc. Joey Artalejo of the 118th Engineer Company of the Utah Army National Guard earned the award due to wounds he suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated on a vehicle he was in.
According to a press release, the action that earned Artalejo the medal took place on December 24, 2010. Artalejo spent 10 days in a hospital before he returned to active duty and completed his deployment.
Artalejo said he still experiences effects from that day, which happened to be the second time a vehicle he was in was hit by an IED. He is currently employed by Kennecott Utah Copper at their Bingham Canyon Mine.