EL PASO — El Paso Rotary Club members honored 11 Fort Bliss Purple Heart recipients during a luncheon at the El Paso Community Foundation in downtown El Paso Jan. 16. Honored guests received a certificate of appreciation and $100 from their Rotary Club sponsor.
The Honor the Soldier Program Award enables members of the El Paso community to recognize injured Soldiers and reward Purple Heart recipients for their valor and selfless service to their country.
Recipients that exemplify Army Values and outstanding character are nominated by their units and are then sponsored by a Rotarian.
Although most honorees didn’t know they were going to be the guests of honor until a day or two prior to the event, they were grateful for the gesture.
Staff Sgt. Calvent Morant, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, was excited when his platoon sergeant gave him the news the day before.
Morant was injured when a vehicle-born improvised explosive device drove through their traffic control point perimeter and detonated. As a result, four Soldiers lost their lives leaving only three survivors, one of which was Morant.
Although he suffered injuries from shrapnel and was knocked unconscious because of the blast, he quickly recovered and without hesitation began to assist other members of his team. He maintained his composure and assisted his comrades, selflessly placing their needs before his.
Another honoree, Pfc. Dallas Carroll, 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, was surprised by the news as well and said he felt “spoiled and appreciative” of the recognition.
When asked why she sponsored a Soldier, Kristen Cox, vice president of programs and Rotarian sponsor of Carroll replied, “I’m a civilian and don’t have a direct connection with the military, so this is my way to give back and recognize the sacrifices these Soldiers make.”