Eight soldiers in a Joint Base Lewis-McChord battalion charged with hunting for deadly roadside bombs in Afghanistan received Purple Hearts on a Christmas Day ceremony at a Marine base in Helmand Province.
“Pfc. Joseph Jackson, 571st Sapper Company, and a native of Erwin, N.C., was in the middle of clearing a road and recovering a downed vehicle when he and his team struck a roadside bomb.
‘I got slapped in the face with a .50-cal that sheared off of the truck. It …