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A University of Wisconsin Oshkosh history student was awarded the Purple Heart as a result of injuries sustained during military action in Iraq last year.

Spc. Christopher Horton was surrounded by his family and his fellow Wisconsin Army National Guard soldiers as he received the honor Saturday, Sept. 8, at the National Guard Armory in Fond du Lac.

On Aug. 11, 2006, during a convoy security mission, Horton’s Humvee struck an explosive device and burst into flames. Horton and two other soldiers were forced to flee from the vehicle.

“The only thing I saw at first was fire and smoke coming from the cab,” Horton said.

The soldiers suffered burns and shrapnel wounds. They were transported to a hospital emergency room and later to the Brooke Medical Center’s burn unit in San Antonio, Texas.

Horton is currently a member of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry of Fond du Lac; however, he was injured while serving with Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery.

Gen. George Washington established the Purple Heart Medal during the Revolutionary War. It is awarded in the name of the president of the United States to any member of the U.S. armed forces who was wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States after April 5, 1917.