An Iowa soldier was honored today by the Iowa House and Senate for his bravery in Iraq. Marine Sergeant Major Brad Kasal, a native of Afton, Iowa, was wounded in fighting in Fallujah in November of 2004. Kasal was shot in the leg seven times as he led a team trying to rescue three marines trapped in a building full of Iraqi insurgents. Kasal continued to return fire and used his body to shield a fellow marine from a grenade explosion and suffered 40 shrapnel wounds.
Kasal nearly lost his leg and is happy to be walking again with a cane after months of recovery. He says he’s gone through a lot of surgeries, pain and recovery, but says because of his willingness to keep his leg and get back to duty, he says he’s getting better by the day.
Kasal says he wants to remain in the Marines for several more years before retiring. He says that’s why he’s fighting to rehabilitate his leg, for his own personal life, and to keep his career and to ultimately get back overseas again. Kasal’s story has been broadcast worldwide and there’s speculation he could be in line to receive the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for bravery in combat. He says it has all been overwhelming as he’s been getting five to 15 cards a day from people and calls all the time from the media.
Kasal says the cards and letters help him heal. Kasal is stationed at Camp Pendelton, California. Kasal received standing ovations today (Monday)during his appearance before the Iowa House and Senate.