RECRUITING STATION LANSING, Michigan --
Minder sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen while on a
patrol during his deployment to Habbinyah, Iraq, as a corporal, Oct. 4, 2006.
“I joined the Marine Corps specifically to go to Iraq,” said
Minder. “No one ever expects to get shot. I feel it is well worth us being over
there and willing to do the things we did to keep them there and not here.”
Upon receiving his Purple Heart, Minder’s humble attitude
displayed the Marine Corps values of honor, courage and commitment.
“I think it’s a great honor to receive an award for doing
something I got to do, trying to help out over there in Iraq,” said Minder.
“Being part of the military was a big part of my life and I appreciate the
opportunity to do something for the country.”
Minder decided to leave the Marine Corps in 2012 to serve
his local community by running SSL Firearms in Grand Rapids, Mich.
His wife, Leah J. Minder, a Marine recruiter in Mount
Pleasant, Mich., was also present during the ceremony. She expressed her
gratitude for her husband’s courage while also being afforded to opportunity to
share in his ceremony with her promotion to the rank of staff sergeant.
“To receive this promotion with my husband by my side, and
to have him pin the rank on my collar, means the world to me,” said Leah. “If
it wasn’t for him I would not be where I am today. His unconditional love and
support is what keeps me going and gives me the confidence to make a difference
out here on recruiting duty by finding the nation’s finest men and women to
join our ranks of the Marine Corps.”
The Minder couple said they will always be there for each
other through thick and thin, as they are one through marriage and their love
of the Marine Corps.