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WEST VALLEY OFFICER RECEIVES PURPLE HEART.

Byline: RICK ORLOV

Staff Writer

A West Valley police officer who was injured while on National Guard duty in Iraq was presented with the military's Purple Heart on Monday as the city was honored for its support of employees who have been placed on active duty.

Officer Brent Williams, who works on crime suppression in the West Valley, was injured in September 2004 when a rocket exploded near the Humvee on which he was serving as a machine gunner.

Williams suffered a concussion, a burst eardrum and other minor injuries.

"I was fortunate," said Williams, a sergeant in the California National Guard. "My thoughts are with all those who still are fighting and at risk."

After returning to the United States, Williams joined the LAPD in 2006. His twin brother, Bryan, also serves in the National Guard and is a member of the LAPD.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said it was important for the city to support its workers -- more than 1,000 of whom have been called to active duty since the Iraq war began -- by guaranteeing they have a job, that their families receive financial support and that they do not lose promotional opportunities while on duty.

"We can disagree about the war, but we are united in supporting our men and women who are called to serve the cause of liberty," Villaraigosa said.

Meanwhile, the Employee Support for the Guard and Reserve, a division of the Department of Defense, presented Villaraigosa with its Seven Seals Award, the highest civilian award given by the department.

The award recognized the city's policies on guaranteeing the jobs of workers called to active duty and in making up the salary difference of military pay to ensure that employees' families do not suffer financially.

rick.orlov(at)dailynews.com

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 25, 2007
Words:298
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