Alabama Guardsman Receives Purple Heart

Washington, D.C. – An Alabama National Guardsman has received the Purple Heart. Michael Austin was wounded late last month in the Iraqi city of Najaf. He's a sergeant in Company B of the 711th Signal Battalion. Austin was apparently walking early one morning when a mortar attack hit. Surgeons had to cut under his breast bone to remove shrapnel and his spleen...and he says he still has pain from the shrapnel in his back. He's also missing the peripheral vision in one eye. Austin came home earlier this month after being treated at Walter Reed Army hospital near Washington, D-C. He'll return to Washington next month for further treatment and to assess his future military status.