Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL Purple Heart recipient moves forward

Richard Robertson with his wife Sarah and daughter Ashleigh following the 2010 Veterans Day ceremony at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (ORNL photo)

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 11, 2010 — Retired Army Master Sgt. and Purple Heart recipient Richard Robertson was wounded in 2005 in Iraq, losing four of his comrades during an attack.

Now working in the Global Security Directorate of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Robertson told a Veterans Day audience at the Laboratory the memory of those four soldiers has inspired him to keep plugging ahead.

"Their sacrifice helps me to put into perspective my injuries and has helped me immensely come to grips with the severity of my injuries and has helped me to focus and get on with my life after I was wounded," Robertson said.

He was presented his Purple Heart by former President George W. Bush during the latter's visit to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington in 2005.

Robertson has counseled fellow soldiers who went through the same experience he has. Robertson's message to them is simple.

"I tell them to take stock in what they can still do and things they still have and not what has been taken," Robertson said. "They can mourn it, but not dwell on it."

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science.