Combat-wounded San Diego vet opens up about his Purple Heart

Purple Heart Day is about more than vet's actions
Posted at 6:45 PM, Aug 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 21:45:39-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Retired Marine Corporal Kionte Storey did not realize Monday was Purple Heart Day. 

He loves to help others, so when I asked him about what his Purple Heart meant to him, he was not sure what to say. 

"I never thought about it until you just asked me," he said with a chuckle. 

It is America's oldest military award, which dates back to 1782, and it is a symbol of sacrifice. 

"No one is raising their hands for that medal," Storey added. 

He did raise his hand and swore he would defend this country knowing what it could cost him. 

In 2010, he was on a morning patrol in Afghanistan when he triggered an IED.

"It was literally my body jolting, and my ears ringing and I fell to the floor," he explained. "You could see the bone, [and] you could see the flesh."

His Corpsman rushed to his side, and his guys got him home. 

He found new ways to serve on home soil. He volunteers for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the Semper Fi Fund.

Storey plans to take on Mt. Kilimanjaro the last week of August. He said he is doing it to raise money for other wounded vets. He hopes to raise $250,000 for the Bob Woodruff Foundation. He knows he cannot help everyone. 

"We definitely lost some good people out there," he said with a sigh. 

Storey said they gave much more than he did to earn their Purple Hearts. 

"I got it and I lost my leg for it.," he added. "I'm just trying to live my life honoring them."

Once again, I asked him what his medal means to him. 

"It's a reminder of those who passed away.Those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and a reminder... to not forget them."