McKinney receives Purple Heart


Airman First Class James Brandon McKinney, right, is shown here with CMSAF Maurry following the ceremony in Iraq where McKinney was awarded the Purple Heart.
  By Lesley Hughes

  lhughes@starhq.com
  Elizabethton native Airman First Class James Brandon McKinney, United States Air Force, recently received the Purple Heart for being wounded in battle on October 22. The vehicle he was operating came in contact with a roadside explosive, which shattered the window injuring McKinney and another serviceman.
  Both were air lifted to a nearby hospital for treatment, before returning to duty the following week. While in Iraq, Airman McKinney is stationed at Camp Speicher in Northern Iraq, and is assigned to the 2nd Platoon, Charley Company of the United States Army. He is a vehicle operations apprentice and drives equipment and supply trucks in convoys across the country.
  On November 8, Airman McKinney and the other injured soldier were flown to Balad, Iraq for the awards ceremony. He was presented the Purple Heart by General Jumper and CMSAF Maurry followed by a reception.
  McKinney joined the Air Force in July 2003. After graduating from Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, he received his Vehicle Operations specialty training in Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. His stateside assignment is Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas where he is assigned to the 7th Logistics Readiness Squadron in Vehicle Operations.
  McKinney is a 2001 graduate of Hampton High School and attended Valley Forge Christian Church. He is the son of Bryce and Beverly McKinney of Elizabethton, and Louise Hobbs, Dallas, N.C. He is the grandson of Katalin McKinney, Trula Hobbs and Nathan and Julia Ward, and the late Ethan McKinney and James Hobbs.
  He is married to the former Rachel Church and they have a three-year-old son, Devon Andrew, who lives in Abilene, Texas. McKinney is eligible to return to the states in March 2005.