Grand Rapids Soldier to Receive Purple Heart

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U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Nick Kroeze Jr. will receive a Purple Heart medal, while continuing a recovery that his parents have called miraculous.

Kroeze, 23, was riding in a humvee that was split in half by a roadside bomb near Fallujah, Iraq, on Feb. 7. He is recovering from a fractured heel bone and shoulder, and a torn knee. Earlier concerns about head trauma were completely cleared by a recent MRI.

Kroeze is a member of Keystone Community Christian Reformed Church in Ada, Mich. His parents are Nick Kroeze Sr., president of Kuyper College, and Rev. Gloria Kroeze, a CRC hospital chaplain.

“We have received abundant support [from the Christian Reformed community] that we can’t even begin to fathom,” said Gloria Kroeze. “It’s overwhelming and humbling. . . . [Nick’s] life is a miracle.”

Purple Hearts are awarded to those who are killed or wounded as a result of “hostile enemy actions” while serving with the U.S. military.

About the Author

Roxanne VanFarowe is a freelance writer who lives in the woods with her artist husband James and their five children in Hillsborough, North Carolina. They are members of Blacknall Presbyterian Church in Durham.