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Home News-Telegram News Sulphur Bluff graduate John Dodd receives Purple Heart

Sulphur Bluff graduate John Dodd receives Purple Heart

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Army Sgt. John Dodd was recently honored with a Purple Heart for his service with the 1-505th 3rd BCT 82nd Airborne Division in Southern Baghdad.

Dodd sustained injuries to his hands and lower legs during an incident on June 22. He and his team were coming back in from a mission, and were ambushed around 10:30 a.m.

An RKG-3 antitank grenade was fired at the vehicle his team was traveling in. Thanks to the driver, who sped up just as the enemy insurgents were spotted, it hit the driver’s tail gate of the vehicle instead of two team leaders sitting in the seat behind Sgt. Dodd’s, the sergeant recounted.

A grenade got Sgt. Dodd, hot copper burning down and cutting up his legs and hands. As the unit’s medic worked on Sgt. Dodd, a small arms attack started from the other side of the vehicle. Team members acted, taking care of the problem, for which Sgt. Dodd said he’s “pretty proud of my guys.” Both Dodd and one of his team leaders who also saw the man who fired at him were able to give a description. The man was eventually “caught and turned over to Iraqi judicials,” Sgt. Dodd said.

Sgt. Dodd was able to limp to his truck on one leg, and was transported back to base before being “med-evaced” out to Baghdad. The copper burned down one leg and left what looked like golfball size holes in his leg; he also had some shrapnel. His hands were also damaged. He had to have one surgery, and “almost lost my trigger finger.” He’s still recovering from his injuries, which at times still cause a touch of numbness.

Sgt. Dodd was treated and released. He’s been home on leave for two weeks and is slated to report for duty Monday. He hopes to return to his unit soon. He has been in the service since September of 2005, having served three deployments — one in Kosovo and two in Iraq. He’s been in Iraq since November of 2008, and is enlisted until August 2010.

Sgt. Dodd is a 2000 graduate of Sulphur Bluff High School, having attended both Sulphur Bluff and Sulphur Springs schools while growing up in Hopkins County. He is the son of Randy and Jamie Dodd of Sulphur Springs and Dan and Tina Elmore of Sulphur Bluff.




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