(WKTV) - Two local men were presented with medals Friday morning for years of service to our country.
Just a few days ahead of Memorial Day, U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna presented the Purple Heart to Sgt. E.J. Weeks of New Hartford and an Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Sharpshooter Badge and Auto Rifle Bar to Sgt. Michael Evans of Rome. The two received their awards at Purple Heart Memorial Park in Utica.
Weeks served in the Army from 2008 to 2012 and was deployed to Haiti to assist after the earthquake. But it was his heroic actions he took at the point man during his deployment in Afghanistan in 2011 that earned him the Purple Heart.
"Our vehicle hit a 200-pound pressure IED. At the time, I refused medical attention," Weeks said. "I had issues with traumatic brain injury (but) there was still a job to do."
Weeks says he's very honored and grateful he wasn't more injured.
Evans served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1981 through 1984. In 1993, he entered the Army, where he served until 1997. Evans never received his service medals, and Hanna worked with the Army to obtain the ones he earned.