Local Veteran Receives Purple Heart

June  13, 2014

      Michael Leal was injured just before finishing his mission in Afghanistan in 2011, and tomorrow, he'll receive a Purple Heart.

      The 27-year-old staff sergeant was training replacement troops in eastern Afghanistan when there was an explosion, injuring his foot and chin.  He says his injuries were minor compared to other soldiers in his convoy.

      The Davenport native returned home in 2011, and he says he can't express how it feels to receive the medal.
      "It's a huge honor, you know, and that's all I really can say. I don't know...I just...I don't like having all the glory and all that, either. I'm just kind of a simple person, so it's kinda weird for me."

      Leal recently completed his bachelors in Sociology from St. Ambrose University and now works in human resources at the Rock Island Arsenal. 

      Congressman Dave Loebsack will present Michael Leal with the Purple Heart tomorrow at 9 am at the National Guard Armory.