Military Awards

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Nebraska National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Brewer made history Wednesday.

He is the first member of the Nebraska National Guard to be awarded the Purple Heart since World War Two.

Brewer received the medal today from Gov. Mike Johanns and guard Major General Roger Lempke at a ceremony today in Lincoln.

Brewer was shot six times when his unit was ambushed in Kabul, Afghanistan, in October.

Brewer says as he lay there injured, he kept fighting out of a desire to come home to Nebraska. And, he says, out of a desire to have a slice of Valentino's pizza.

Brewer also received the Bronze Star and the Lakota Warrior Award. Brewer grew up on the Oglala Sioux Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Also honored today with Bronze Stars were guard members Matt Kelly of Omaha and Martin Neal of North Platte. They were recognized for their bravery during ground combat in Iraq.