Barletta participates in presentation of Purple Heart medal to Hazleton soldier John Leonard

Mar 28, 2011
Press Release


WASHINGTON– U.S. Representative Lou Barletta was proud to participate in the awarding of the Purple Heart medal to Pennsylvania Army National Guard Sergeant First Class John Leonard during a ceremony held at the Hazleton Armory on March 22. SFC Leonard was injured by an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle while he was serving in Iraq in February 2009.

Representative Barletta’s office helped secure the award for SFC Leonard, a member of A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 104th Cavalry Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, anda corporal in the Hazleton Police Department.

“Sergeant Leonard has brought honor and distinction to his community and his country,” Barletta said. “I stood in this armory at the start of your deployment and said we were all going to pray for your safe return. We are grateful our prayers have been answered.

“Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to earn them. We are proud Sergeant First Class Leonard is one of our brave men. I hope the presentation of this Purple Heart Medal adequately expresses the gratitude of our country for your tremendous sacrifice.”

The Purple Heart was established by General George Washington at Newburgh, New York, on August 7, 1782, during the Revolutionary War. It is awarded to members of the armed forces who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy, and posthumously awarded to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration.