Fenton flight medic earns Purple Heart for injuries in Iranian missile attack in Iraq

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

A Michigan National Guard member flight medic from Fenton was awarded a Purple Heart on Tuesday for injuries suffered in January when Iranian missiles hit an air base in Iraq.

The Purple Heart is granted to all military members injured or killed by enemy action.

Sgt. 1st Class Leonard Adams, 45, was the noncommissioned officer in charge of the MEDEVAC site at Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq on Jan. 8, when the missile attack occurred, according to a statement from the Michigan National Guard.  

Sgt. 1st Class Leonard P. Adams (left), a Michigan National Guard flight medic from Fenton, was awarded the Purple Heart on May 5, 2020 in a small ceremony at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

After being wounded, Adams was medically transported to Germany, and then to Fort Campbell, in Kentucky, to recover. He was still in Fort Campbell on Tuesday when awarded his Purple Heart, but is expected to return soon to Fenton. His wife and daughter and other loved ones had to watch the ceremony online. 

After the attack, Adams was medically evacuated to Germany and then Fort Campbell to recover.  He is expected to return to his wife and daughter at their home in Fenton to continue his recovery.

“I want to thank my unit that is still downrange, I wish I could be there with you,” said Adams, one of 29 American soldiers who received Purple Hearts due to their injuries in the attack, in the statement.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, in a statement, said “I am thankful for the sacrifices Sgt. 1st Class Adams has made, and I am proud of his honorable service."

Adams's unit mobilized in October and is expected to return home in the early fall. According to the statement, Adams "serves in a key leadership role" for his team: Detachment 1, Company C, 3-238th General Support Aviation Battalion, in Grand Ledge.