– Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Vice Adm. Tom Copeman awarded Damage Controlman 2nd Class Petty Officer (SW) Izzysara Rosenthalgeorge the Purple Heart during a ceremony on Naval Base San Diego, Mar. 21, in recognition of injuries sustained while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan.
In June 2010, while serving as a detainee guard in the Special Housing Unit, Detention Facility Parwan in Bagram, Afghanistan, Rosenthalgeorge was attacked by a detained enemy combatant during routine detainee movement operations. She was able to maintain control of the detainee until assistance arrived. Once the situation was stabilized, Rosenthalgeorge was treated for a severe laceration to her scalp which required four staples to close, as well as follow on concussion-like symptoms.
“I am honored to be awarded the Purple Heart. At first I was in shock because I felt I was just doing my job,” said Rosenthalgeorge.
Rosenthalgeorge enlisted in the Navy in February 2006. She deployed from April 2010 to January 2011, her third deployment, when the injury occurred. She is currently receiving treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.
“After everything Petty Officer Rosenthalgeorge has been through, she continues to be a team player and contribute to the command. She actively teaches classes and earn qualifications,” said Director, Surface Warfare Officer School Damage Control and Firefighting, Cmdr. Frank Quiles. “I am very happy for to receive this award. It is one way for the nation to say thank you for all that she has done and what she has been through.”
The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration being awarded. Originally called the Badge of Military Merit, it was designed by Gen. George Washington during the American Revolution. Initially, it was only awarded to soldiers serving in the Army. Eventually, President John F. Kennedy extended the medal to cover all service members in all future wars. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan extended eligibility to service members wounded or killed by international terrorists' attacks.
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