GOLDBERG: Purple Heart organization, wrestling superstar Goldberg to honor recipients in Boerne this weekend (

Posted on 8/06/122 by Mike Informer

Purple Heart organization, wrestling superstar Goldberg
to honor recipients in Boerne this weekend

Sunday is National Purple Heart Day

SAN ANTONIO – National Purple Heart Day is Sunday, and a
local organization is helping recipients from Texas and
across the country.

The Purple Heart Project is hosting its 3rd annual
fundraiser on Saturday, where more than 30 recipients will
be honored for their service and sacrifice. The project
provides valuable community resources to veterans.

One of those recipients is Boerne resident James Elkins, a
former U.S. Army Ranger. Elkins was wounded in March 2012
while on patrol in Southern Afghanistan.

“We were on dismounted patrol. It was a company element,
meaning everyone was out there,” said Elkins. “I went out to
clear a grape hut with two other of my soldiers, and as I
was beaching the door and going in, I received a gunshot
wound through the back of my head, and it came out right at
my lower lip, dropped me to the ground. I got back up.”

Elkins was transported to a hospital in Kandahar and
received his Purple Heart while in the emergency room.

“I received my Purple Heart from a general with the 82nd. He
was at the base at the time. From there, I was flown to
Bagram, where I underwent about an eight-hour surgery. They
took out all the bone fragments from my jaw that the bullet
displaced. They put an eight-inch titanium plate on the
outside and a six-inch titanium plate on the inside and
zipped it all up. And that was it. Just one surgery.”

Elkins flew to San Antonio to continue his recovery and
transition from active duty.

“There was a lot of organizations in the San Antonio area
that were there to assist in the transition of wounded
soldiers going from their military sector to the civilian
sector. I started donating my time with a lot of them
because there were a lot of other guys and gals wounded at
the same time as me. It really was just spreading the
message that just because you had a bad day doesn’t mean
everything’s over,” said Elkins.

Wrestling superstar Bill Goldberg is one of the biggest
advocates for veterans in the San Antonio area. Goldberg has
raised awareness for local veteran causes since he moved to
the area two years ago.

“They’re very selfless. Let’s be perfectly honest. The last
thing that veterans and, most importantly, Purple Heart
recipients want is attention,” said Goldberg. “The biggest
thing in speaking to the recipients throughout the years is
the ability to get with the likeminded people and not be
cast out in front of a microscope, to be able to just have
those normal conversations, which truly at the end of the
day, is like therapy for them.”

Goldberg will be the keynote speaker at Saturday’s
fundraiser in Boerne, honoring Elkins and other wounded
veterans. He said events like these are important to
veterans in the community.

“You see the result for future generations in that you’re
setting a good example for the kids in our community to
continue on the hard work,” said Goldberg. “I hate to say
because it sounds selfish, but I think I get more out of it
than they do.”

Elkins said there was no doubt that he would recover after
his injury and be there for his wife and child.

“When you hear disabled veteran or wounded veteran, you
immediately think that they’ve lost something, but really
they’ve gained it,” said Elkins. “Just because you left a
part of you on the battlefield, that experience and that
determination to get past a tough day, if you take that and
apply that into the corporate world, you can never fail. You
constantly succeed.”

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