Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. -- Cpl. Cory Paradine, an anti-tank missileman with 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, received the Purple Heart Medal during a ceremony at Camp Lejeune, N.C., July 23.
Maj. Gen. James W. Lukeman, the commanding general of 2nd Marine Division, presented the medal to Paradine, who was wounded while serving in Afghanistan two years ago.
“I’m honored to receive the Purple Heart,” said Paradine, a Kings Park, New York, native. “I was nervous during the ceremony, but after receiving the medal I was happy to have the privilege.”
During the ceremony, Marines from the unit stood in formation around Paradine as Lukeman pinned the medal upon his chest. Lukeman offered Paradine his personal thanks for his actions while deployed overseas.
“This medal represents all of us putting ourselves on the line and fighting for the ones back home,” said Lukeman. “Obviously this isn’t something that people go out looking for, but it’s a significant award and an honor to have.”
Shortly after the general finished his remarks, Sgt. Maj. Bryan K. Zickefoose, the 2nd Marine Division sergeant major, handed Paradine a unit coin as a symbol of thanks from the unit’s leadership.
The history of the Purple Heart Medal dates back to the 1780s, when then Gen. George Washington established an award to recognize his service members for meritorious service in combat. The award broke with an old tradition of decorating high-ranking officers, and instead focused on recognizing individual patriots who sacrificed for their country.