East Texas Trooper Honored With Purple Heart - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/27/07-Garland

East Texas Trooper Honored With Purple Heart

It's a story that made national headlines.  A story of tragedy and courage. 

In March of 2006, Trooper Steven Stone's life was changed forever.  After making a traffic stop, A man opened fire, shooting stone five times and leaving him for dead, but death was not in Trooper Stone's plan.  It's Trooper Stone's courage and strength that earned him a very special honor Friday.  

"On the day that the events happened to you, you went to work like you did everyday, and certainly we know this is a dangerous job," said Chief Randall Elliston, Texas Highway Patrol Division. 

On March 22nd, 2006 Trooper Steven Stone found out just how dangerous his job could be.  What started as a traffic stop quickly turned into a situation that tested his courage and strength like nothing else had before.

"Trooper Stone, though injured and bleeding, crawled to his patrol unit and called for help," said Elliston. 

It's his self-perseverance and dedication that led to the arrests of the shooters and got Trooper Stone to where he is today. 

"Trooper Stone is hereby awarded the Texas Department of Public Safety's Purple Heart," said Elliston. 

"I am quite honored to be what I consider a visual representation of the sacrifice men and women in law enforcement are willing to make," said Trooper Stone. 

Like Sergeant James Klein, who was also honored today for injuries he suffered in 2003.  While responding to a traffic accident on an icy bridge, another car lost control and slammed into Klein.  Through rehabilitation and hard work Trooper Klein was able to go back to work, a place Trooper Stone says he hopes to be soon.

"Mentally, I am very ready to go back," said Trooper Stone.  "I believe this is a calling, and the men and women who work in this profession know this is what they are supposed to do." 

This is the second Purple Heart Ceremony the Department of Public Safety has held.  The first, back in 2003, honored five state troopers, and hopefully the Department of Public safety says Friday's ceremony will be the last.

Molly Reuter, Reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

 

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