Spc. Willis E. Slaughter, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, receives a congratulatory handshake from Brig. Gen. Jeffery Sinclair, the 82nd Airborne Division’s deputy commander for support, after receiving the Purple Heart during a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, on Jan. 10.

Special to the Hood Herald

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan — Four soldiers from the 2nd Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, deployed here in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, received the Purple Heart military decoration Jan. 10 in a ceremony for injuries sustained during combat operations.

The guest for the ceremony, the 82nd Airborne Division’s deputy commanding general for support, Brig. Gen. Jeffery A. Sinclair, said although the soldiers already belonged to one of America’s greatest fraternities by simply wearing the uniform, the pinning of the Purple Heart also meant they now belong to a greater fraternity, one that will publicly recognize them for the sacrifices they’ve made for America.

“This also stands for the pride and sacrifices you’ve made,” Sinclair said. “In addition to that, the Purple Heart is also steeped in history because of what the soldiers in the past have done.”

The Purple Heart recipients were: Staff Sgt. Michael A. Dubois; Staff Sgt. Thomas C. Stephenson, of Cross Plaines; Spc. Scott M. Simpson and Spc. Willis E. Slaughter.