STONINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — A U.S. Navy hospital Corpsman who graduated from Stonington High School in 2011 receives the Purple Heart.
Jacob Schlauder was injured when an IED exploded while he was on patrol in Afghanistan. His mother Melissa Schlauder, of Stonington, says, “I just remember him saying ‘Hi Mom, I’m okay but we were blown up and everybody’s okay.’ So that’s a difficult call to get as a parent, certainly.”
The attack was on Jan. 25. Jacob Schlauder was knocked unconscious by the blast and when he came to, he went right back to work helping an injured Marine despite his own injuries. “He suffered some short term memory issues. He had a seizure upon coming back,” says Melissa Schlauder.
She says her son is now getting continued care back at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He’s being fitted for a hearing aid and undergoes therapy for his traumatic brain injury. Jacob Schlauder is a sailor who serves in the 1st Battalion 9th Marine regiment.
Schlauder says, “It allows him to help people, which has always been in line with the type of heart he has. He’s doing great things. I’m very proud of him.” His heroic act earned him a Navy Achievement Medal presented by the Commandant of the Navy, and in July he received the Purple Heart for the injuries he suffered in Afghanistan.
Schlauder says, “I know Jacob accepted this award on behalf of his three fallen brothers that they lost from one nine.”
He also accepted it on behalf of those from his unit who are still recovering from their injuries. More reason for this military mother to be proud. “Our veterans need all of our respect and support and appreciation because they go through a lot for our freedom,” says Schlauder.
There’s no word whether or not Schlauder will be deployed again but he does continue to help others at Camp Lejuene who have been injured.