This Purple Heart recipient sacrificed himself to save his 3-year-old granddaughter from a home explosion

Don Osteen (Courtesy photo via KFOR)

A 69-year-old Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient died last Monday after saving his 3-year-old granddaughter when his home exploded two weeks ago.

Don Osteen's son Brendon told CNN that his father was lighting a candle next to the stove on September 19 at his home in Maud, Oklahoma, when a propane gas tank attached to the house exploded.

Osteen had been wounded in a grenade explosion during the Vietnam War, CNN reports. According to a GoFundMe for the family, he covered his granddaughter Paetyn with his body to shield her from the explosion.

"Papa rushed to cover Pae with his body to save her from the collapsing house and flames," a GoFundMe for the family reads. "Even with over 78% of Papa's body covered with 3rd degree burns with flesh hanging off his body, a punctured lung and most ribs broken, he carried Pae down the road over a quarter of a mile to find help."

Don Osteen and Paetyn. Photo: GoFundMe

Paetyn had burns over 30% of her body, CNN reports. But on Monday, Brendon posted on Facebook that she "is healing up wonderfully," and is "ready to be home."

Osteen passed away due to a heart attack during surgery, per CNN. Brendon told Oklahoma news station KFOR that his father "was all about that baby and she was all about him."

"He loved my daughter beyond unconditionally," Brendon said on September 23, after his father's passing. "And he gave it all for her to live."

Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew becomes emotional while speaking about officer Katie Thyne during a press conference Friday morning Jan. 24, 2020 in Newport News, Va. Officer Thyne died Thursday night after being dragged during a traffic stop. (Daily Press/Jonathon Gruenke via Tribune News Service)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The police officer killed during a traffic stop in Newport News on Thursday night was a well-liked young officer who just graduated from the police academy seven months ago, Police Chief Steve Drew said at a somber news conference Friday.

Read More
Calvin Cooper (Facebook via Albuquerque Journal)

The airman who struck and killed a woman with his car last year near Kirtland Air Force Base is now headed to trial and facing possible prison time in the incident.

Read More
Audie Murphy (U.S. Army photo)

Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018

On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.

Read More
A military funeral at Fort Jackson National Cemetery in 2014. Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Joel Quebec/U.S. Army

A U.S. soldier died on Friday while in Syria supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the Defense Department announced on Saturday.

Read More
DoD photo

A word that could once not be mentioned in court — torture — was front and center on Friday as a military tribunal prepares to take on the long-delayed trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the confessed chief plotter of the 9/11 attacks, and four other defendants.

"I know torture's a dirty word," defense attorney Walter Ruiz told the tribunal. "I'll tell you what, judge, I'm not going to sanitize this for their concerns."

Read More