UPDATED: Iowa soldier honored for heroism - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATED: Iowa soldier honored for heroism

Master Sgt. Todd Eipperle Master Sgt. Todd Eipperle

An Iowan is being honored for his brave actions during a July attack in Afghanistan.  Back on July 9. a rogue Afghan security officer opened fire on a US National Guard unit.  Master Sgt. Todd Eipperle of Marshalltown returned fire, killing the attacker and saving the lives of fellow soldiers and civilians. 

Master Sgt. Todd Eipperle is glad to be spending a few minutes in his home community of Marshalltown, shaking hands of fellow service men and women at the Iowa Vets Home.  It's at the Veterans Home that Congressman Bruce Braley honored Eipperle Monday for his brave actions in Afghanistan, presenting him with a flag flown over the US capitol and a letter commending his service.

"Sergeant, I want to give you this and thank you on behalf of all Iowans," Braley said.

Eipperle is pleased to add the honor to the Bronze Star and Purple Heart he's already been awarded for his brave actions and injuries sustained during the July attack.  But the recognitions all come with a heavy heart since two of his fellow soldiers, including Sgt. Terryl Pasker of Cedar Rapids, did not survive the fire fight.

"They gave their lives for our service.  Every time I get recognized, I continue to think about the two soldiers I was with and was lost.  I just want to make sure they get recognized also," Eipperle said.

Despite that difficult loss, Eipperle won't be ending his military career anytime soon.  Just before he was hurt, the master sergeant inked a 6-year service contract, which he has every intention of honoring.  Eipperle says determination to be a good leader, along with support from his family and community, keep him going.

"I first joined the military in the early 80s and it was different then.  Vietnam was only 7 or 8 years before that and a lot of guys couldn't go out in uniform or anything.  It was different.  So it's really nice to see how the community is supporting the military these days," said Eipperle.

Before Eipperle's service continues, he will focus on regaining his physical strength.  He's been walking without a cane for about a month and hopes to get back in top physical form soon so that he can keep serving his country.

Eipperle is hoping to be discharged from physical therapy in Ft. Riley, Kans. this week.  He'll then receive ongoing care from the VA clinic in Marshalltown.  The master sergeant is set to return to his "regular job" with the Boy Scouts of America next month.

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