Latino Wounded In Afghanistan To Receive Purple Heart

A veteran of the war in Afghanistan who was injured there will receive the Purple Heart medal on Monday in a ceremony to celebrate the U.S. Army’s 238th birthday, Army officials announced.

Spc. Arael Lopez-Lopez of Lancaster, Pa., is scheduled to receive the medal for combat injuries he received in Afghanistan in 2012.

The Purple Heart indicates meritorious military service and is awarded to service members who've been wounded during action against the enemy.

Lopez-Lopez will get the honor at the morning celebration in Mount Vernon in Virginia. There, Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh will lay a wreath honoring the “Army's first leader, General George Washington,” the announcement said.

“This wreath-laying ceremony is one of several events held June 10-14 in the national capital region to celebrate 238 years of our soldiers' legacy of defending freedom and democracy around the world,” the Army said.

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Mount Vernon, which is some 16 miles south of Washington D.C., was home to George and Martha Washington for more than 40 years, according to

Lopez-Lopez’s honors include a commendation medal, a National Defense Service medal and an Army Service Ribbon, among others.

His deployment in Afghanistan was from September, 2011 to June, 2012.

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