Two E. Tenn. soldiers face danger together in Afghanistan

Two E. Tenn. soldiers face danger together in Afghanistan

Posted:
Army Pvt. Travis Croxdale, 20, grew up in Morristown. Army Pvt. Travis Croxdale, 20, grew up in Morristown.
Pfc. Zack Grant, 20, grew up in Crossville. Pfc. Zack Grant, 20, grew up in Crossville.
Last week Pfc. Grant received the bronze star medal for his actions. Last week Pfc. Grant received the bronze star medal for his actions.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

CROSSVILLE (WATE) - A local soldier was honored with the Bronze Star Medal for his actions in combat, earning the honor after coming to the aid of a fellow East Tennessean on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

Army Pvt. Travis Croxdale, 20, grew up in Morristown, while Pfc. Zack Grant, 20, grew up in Crossville.  Raised just 100 miles apart, the two came face to face with danger in Afghanistan.

"The fact that two Tennesseans had it happen to them at the same time makes it unique," explained Rob Croxdale, the father of Pvt. Croxdale.

Their platoon, a part of the 3rd infantry division, was caught in a fire fight in July. Both soldiers were injured. 

"Travis said they shared the same bullet," explained Croxdale.

For Michelle Grant, the news was an Army mother's worst fear.

"You child proof everything, keep him safe and when I first read the story that he ran in front of machine gun fire, it was just like, my heart sank," explained Grant, the mother of Pfc. Grant.

But both parents were glad the young men had each other.

"[Travis] took a round to the left knee and a second round that went through his calf that first went through [Zack's] left arm," explained Croxdale.  

"I'm really glad they were there to help each other because Croxdale had to stop [Zack] and tell him you need to bandage your wound, so they rely on each other so much," explained Pfc. Grant's mother.

Last week Pfc. Grant received the bronze star medal for his actions.

"That's what he's trained to do, and they look out for each other, that's how they survive," his mother said.   

The young men are the same age, both come from military families and grew up sharing the same home state. But now they share something much stronger.

"They are your family, and I think they're extremely lucky that they got to be family and speak the same language," explained Croxdale.

Grant says she hopes the families can meet one day.

"I'm sure it will happen," said Grant. "They have a bond now that you and I could never understand, and I have a feeling they'll be life long friends."

Pfc. Grant is still in Afghanistan but will home for leave in November. Pvt. Croxdale continues his recovery at his military base in Georgia.

Pvt. Croxdale received a Purple Heart and the Infantryman Badge for his actions.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.