The presentation of the Purple Heart is three years after the incident. Helm, deployed as a medic with the 369th Medical Company (Ground Ambulance), sustained her injuries in 2008 when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near her vehicle door just two months before her unit was scheduled to return home.
Brig. Gen. David Smalley, the Deputy Commanding General for Professional Services at the 807th Medical Command made the presentation to Helm in front of her family, friends and Army peers. Her father, Allen Helm, and her two grandfathers who served in World War II, attended the ceremony.
“I was proud of her before, but I think it’s great,” says Allen Helm, Chalcea Helm’s father. “I think Chalcea would [tell] you it represents more than just her sacrifice, but everyone’s.”
“You know if they would have handed it to me right after it happened, I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it. Waiting this long for it, having the ceremony with all my friends and family here really means a lot,” said Helm.
Read the rest of her story >> “Staff Sgt. Chalcea Helm Receives Purple Heart Medal”