Ingleside Man Honored with Purple Heart for Second Tour in Iraq

Staff Sgt. Philip Derise, an Ingleside local, was honored with the Purple Heart Friday at Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi.

Derise earned his Heart during his second tour in Iraq when a roadside bomb hit his vehicle, injuring him and his crew. Derise ensured that his entire crew was given medical treatment first and refused treatment for himself, even though he underwent traumatic brain injury, multiple skull fractures and severe optic nerve damage to his right eye.

"I didn't really worry about myself," Derise said. "That's what they teach you. To make sure everybody else is okay first."

Derise was surrounded by his two daughters and wife when accepting his award, but he said he wishes those who died in combat by his side could have been there receiving the honor.

"I carried a little memento of them," Derise said. "It's just a picture of them, to kind of keep me focused this morning. I kind of looked at it. I carry their names in my wallet to remind me that it's really not that bad what's going on."

Derise now lives in Ingleside with his family and works as an environmental protection specialist at NAS-Corpus Christi.


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