Taylor Morris, the sailor from Cedar Falls who was badly injured in Afghanistan in May, received the Purple Heart award yesterday.
His girlfriend Danielle Kelly wrote on TaylorMorris.org that she, Morris and his mother Juli Morris were on a White House tour with other wounded warriors. At the end of the tour, they were posing for a group photo when they were asked to step into a side room.
Unsure what was going on, Kelly said she was surprised when President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden walked through the door.
Obama pinned the award on Morris's shirt as Biden read the award declaration.
"The pinning was quick and informal, the way Taylor would prefer," Kelly wrote. "That is not to say it was not tear-jerking."
Morris, an improvised explosives detection and disposal expert with the U.S. Navy, lost part of all four limbs while clearing a path for his Army Special Forces team in Afghanistan. He is recovering in Washington D.C.
The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by in action.
Read more about Morris's story here.