In order to earn a Purple Heart you have to be wounded in combat or killed in action.
The Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany has one active duty Marine with this distinction.
Sgt. Robert Stull earned his Purple Heart for an event that happened in 2010 while fighting in Afghanistan. "I earned it due to a traumatic brain injury. I hit an improvised explosive device, which is an IED" says Stull.
The explosion demolished his vehicle and created a massive hole in the ground. Stull was medevaced to Dwyer, Afghanistan and once he stabilized was flown to Camp Leatherneck. While there he received a cat scan, rested for 10 days, then returned to the fight that earned him the award. "I'm proud of it one, and two I lived through the fact of that incident but it doesn't come easy" says Stull.
In addition to the medal, there is an accompanying certificate. A few words come to mind when Sgt. Stull explains what the honor means. "Pride. Honor. Faith in myself and the other Marines that were with me" says Stull. After experiencing an IED explosion one may think Sgt. Stull would be glad to return home, but you would be wrong. "I actually wanted to go back. Once we came back from Afghanistan I wanted to go back almost the next day" says Stull.
Even though Sgt. Stull still suffers from migraines as a result of his traumatic brain injury, he doesn't regret his experience and adds that it never crossed his mind to walk away from the United State Marine Corps.