Purple Heart awarded to WNY soldier wounded in Afghanistan

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – An Army sergeant who was wounded in Afghanistan received a very high honor in Buffalo on Monday.

Sergeant Benjamin Benally was presented the Purple Heart at the VA Hospital.

His vehicle was struck by an explosive device in Afghanistan. Fellow soldiers in Sergeant Benally’s unit feared he died when an IED hit their convoy five-years ago.

“It’s not every day that you think of how precious life is, you know a lot of people take for granted, simple things like holding water, ice cream of all things,” Sergeant Benally said.

Sergeant Benally suffered injuries to his arm and head, and later was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.

He says he’s very fortunate and since returning from war has had the opportunity to go back to school, earning a communications degree at Niagara University.

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