President Obama delivers Purple Heart to recovering soldier

President Obama delivers Purple Heart to recovering Maryville soldier

Master Sgt. Michael Trost and President Barack Obama Master Sgt. Michael Trost and President Barack Obama

6 News Reporter

MARYVILLE (WATE) - A Maryville soldier was honored with a Purple Heart delivered by President Barack Obama earlier in March. 

Army Master Sgt. Michael Trost spoke with 6 News Thursday for the first time since he was wounded in Afghanistan in February. 

"The first round that went off hit my hand. It just exploded in front of my face," he said.

He was also shot in the hip and right leg. Trost says two Albanian soldiers nearby were wounded as well.

"As we were on the ground there, one Albanian said to me, are you okay? I said I think so. After I got shot I looked around and I said I am not going to die over here," Trost said.

Now he's at Walter Reed Hospital, fighting to be able to walk. During his many surgeries, the endless support from loved ones and strangers is what keeps him smiling.

But his visit from President Obama will also leave a lasting impression.

"All of a sudden, I'm in Washington D.C. and the president walks in the door. It's just so surreal," Trost said. "He was very amicable awarded me the Purple Heart."

He also received a coin with the president's seal. "Anybody in the military knows that it's the last coin. You can't get any higher than that," Trost said. 

He says when he gets down about his recovery, he doesn't have to go far to realize he's one of the luckier ones. "Whenever I feel sorry for myself, all I got to do is walk down this hallway."

He says there are so many who can never walk. At least he has a fighting chance.

"I'm not taking no for an answer. My goal is to get my right leg in gear and get walking," Trost said.

The soldier is determined to recover as fast as possible so he can welcome his team of soldiers when they return from Afghanistan.

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