“You Think I Am Going to Die That Easy?”
Murkowski Honors Sgt Tyler Hall, U.S. Army, 1st Alaskan Injured in the Iraq War
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lisa Murkowski is releasing her 13th Veteran Spotlight installment today, featuring Wasilla resident Tyler Hall, a U.S. Army veteran who served as a combat engineer in Iraq, and in 2003 was the first Alaskan to be injured during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
During his Veteran Spotlight interview, Hall recalls that generations of his family serving in the Army and the opportunity to travel around the world helped him decide to join on the delayed entry program right after he graduated from Wasilla High School. During his four years in the Army, Hall traveled around the world until a fateful day in August, 2003 when his caravan was struck by an IED on a road near Tikrit. Hall was told he died and was revived eight times.
Tyler Hall, U.S. Army Veteran
(Click on image for excerpt of Tyler talking about his brothers-in-arms who saved him in Iraq and support for his fellow veterans, CLICK HERE for the extended interview)
Hall would spend the next ten years undergoing surgeries to reconstruct and repair injures he received from head to toe. Hall lost his left leg, suffered a punctured lung, torn aorta, broken back and was badly burned on areas not covered by his flame-resistant uniform. Hall says his healing process is far from over as he still struggles with post tramatic stress disorder, but the support he has received helps him cope.
It’s not natural what you go through when you go through war,” said Tyler Hall. “It’s not natural to go and train and you are expected to take somebody’s life. I think to come back and to have that support and know that you are not alone is so important. It’s more than just a pat on the back. It’s the support from your friends, your family and the community that get you through.”
Tyler Hall and Senator Murkowski in December, 2003 after Hall received the Purple Heart from President Bush
Hall later received the Purple Heart award from President George W. Bush, at the request of Sen. Ted Stevens, Senator Murkowski and Congressman Don Young.
“Tyler Hall’s story is one of a true American patriot,” said Senator Murkowski. “He stepped up and served our country, made a huge sacrifice, and now, has become a strong voice for veterans’ advocacy in the Mat-Su Valley. We owe it to veterans like Tyler Hall to honor them through sharing their stories, and we owe it to the rest of us to learn from the high levels of patriotism, commitment and service they demonstrate for us.”
The “Veteran Spotlight” project is Senator Murkowski’s monthly focus on an Alaska veteran of American conflicts worldwide to honor and draw well-deserved attention to Alaska’s men and women who served. Today’s installment is the thirteenth in the series that began on Memorial Day weekend of 2012. Every month, Sen. Murkowski posts a biography and an interview with an Alaskan who served our country abroad in conjunction with the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project. You can watch them all by clicking here.
Senator Murkowski invites all Alaskans to nominate a veteran from the 49th state to be featured in the Veteran Spotlight project. If you have a family member or friend in the community you think has a story to share, email Spotlight@Murkowski.Senate.Gov.
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