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Veteran's Day

Branch: Army
Theatre: Afghanistan

Bronze Star w/V
Purple Heart

Chris Haley enlisted in the Army from Kempner, Texas, in August 2007 and was trained as a medic. He did two tours in the war zones of Iraq in 2008-09 and of Afghanistan in 2011. On his final deployment Haley was assigned to A Company, 1/5 Infantry (out of Fort Wainwright in Alaska) in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. On Sept. 28, 2011, he was the senior medic for his platoon on a patrol and they expected trouble. To that point, he brought extra tourniquets in case they were needed. They entered the village of Do’ab, had contact, and maneuvered to clear some houses in the village to find better firing positions. As the point man stepped over the threshold of one house he triggered an IED under the floor and was immediately seriously injured. Haley moved forward to render first aid to the wounded man and, as he moved around the downed soldier, he triggered another IED that had been placed close to the first. He woke up blind and stunned in the crater made by the explosive. As it turned out his glasses, which were still on his head, were covered with mud so cleaning them removed the blindness concern. However, as he tried to stand he saw his lower leg had been nearly severed. He went to reach for a tourniquet to put on his leg and saw his arm had also been broken and the bone was sticking through the material of his uniform, preventing him from reaching the tourniquet. This took place in a matter of seconds as other soldiers moved to render aid. Being the only medic Haley gave instructions on what to do until a doctor, who had luckily been with the company, appeared and took over.

Haley was medevaced and spent 18 months in rehab and could not walk for six months of that time. He now has a prosthetic leg and moves around normally. He received a Bronze Star with V device and the Purple Heart for his actions. Haley also holds the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, and the Combat Medic Badge.

Honor A Veteran

Selections are only based on the nominee's military service
Nominees do not have to be alumni or associated with the university in any way. Each year, the committee selects eleven honorees based on noteworthy honor, courage, commitment, and sacrifice during their military service to our nation, but decorations for valor are not required. Selections are only based on the nominee's military service.