Senator Feinstein awards two purple hearts
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) enters the San Francisco
Veterans Administration Medical Center for awards presentation
to two veterans of the Iraq war.
Photo(s) by Stephen Dorian
By Lara Moscrip, Bay City News Service
August 24, 2006
Sen. Dianne Feinstein awarded today two members of the California
National Guard the Purple Heart decoration at the San Francisco
VA Medical Center. U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jeff L. Gidley officiated
at the ceremony.
The two men, Sgt. Arne Eastlund of Orangevale, Calif. and Spc.
Evan Bozajian of Oceanside, Calif. were recognized for their service
and the injuries they sustained while on duty in Iraq.
Sgt. Eastlund reenlisted shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks after
17 years as a civilian, spokesman Steve Tokar said. On June 5,
2005, as his convoy drove toward Baghdad, his truck hit a roadside
bomb and Sgt. Eastlund suffered cuts to his leg, face and permanent
hearing loss in his right ear.
Spc. Bozajian was serving his first tour of duty in Iraq as a
gunner in a Humvee on patrol on a road south of Baghdad when his
vehicle hit a roadside bomb. The Humvee rolled over and caught
fire with him trapped inside. Spc. Bozajian was rescued from the
wreck by a fellow soldier, but he suffered injuries to his back,
hip, left leg and extensive nerve damage. He will likely undergo
surgery in November.
Senator Feinstein met with the director of the San Francisco
VA Medical Center, Sheila Cullen, and spoke with physicians about
recent research and patient care.
Feinstein spoke privately with veterans receiving care for Parkinson's
disease, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and neurodegenerative
diseases. The senator also took a tour of the medical facility.
In her remarks during the awards ceremony, Feinstein noted that
more men and women of the California National Guard are serving
on the front lines than in the past 50 years.
The senator said 21 state Guard members have been killed in Iraq
as of spring of this year.
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