A Laurinburg soldier shot in Afghanistan last week has been awarded the Purple Heart.
US Army soldier TJ Ivey is recovering in a German hospital after being shot through the leg. He was struck by a sniper’s bullet while serving with the 173rd Airborne at a forward operating base near the Pakistan border.
While Ivey’s father, Tim, says his son is “tired of laying around,” the soldier is buoyed by phone calls from home and visits from his family in Germany.
“(US District 8 Congressman) Larry Kissell actually called him last week,” Tim Ivey said.
T.J. Ivey’s German-born wife has been visiting him during his convalescence, making the four-hour drive from their home to the hospital.
Instructed to “not move too much,” Ivey’s rehabilitation has so far consisted mostly of stretching. He will be unable to rejoin his unit until the wound has healed and the leg has been rehabilitated.
That fact has provided some relief to the elder Ivey.
“I don’t have to worry about what is happening today,” Tim Ivey said. “I’m not worried about the next call I get that I don’t know phone number too.”
Ivey received the Army’s Purple Heart medal in honor of his sacrifice last Wednesday.
In a related incident, the medic responsible for seeing to Ivey’s treatment in the field following the shooting was killed in action last Friday while operating in an area near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan. Four other soldiers were wounded during that attack.
Ivey’s father said last week that the attack which resulted in his son being shot was instigated by a sniper that had been “trying to shoot at them all month” from a hill overlooking their base.
After Ivey was wounded, the Army “eliminated” the hill from which the sniper was firing, said Tim Ivey.