The Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team received an unexpected honor on Thursday, July 31, when Marine veteran, Lance Cpl. Josh Frey gave the Bucs’ General Manager Jason Licht one of his two Purple Hearts.

“At first he didn’t want it,” Frey explained, according to a report by WTSP, a CBS affiliate out of Tampa Bay, Florida. “Saying I can’t do this. And I wanted to tell him it’s not about me and my Purple Heart. You know you have guys come home in a box only receive a Purple Heart.”

Frey earned his first Purple Heart after being wounded in action in Fallujah in 2004. The second came two weeks before he was set to return home after a fire fight that resulted in six blood transfusions and 22 operations on his right arm.

On giving Licht his Purple Heart, Frey, a life-long Buccaneers fan, said, “I have this optimistic feeling of hope. You know we’ve had some ups and downs in the last few years, just like veterans … Together, you know, if you get the right team together, the right unit, and the right support, you can do anything.”

Watch the full report by Christopher Fischer at WTSP below.

 

Lauren Katzenberg is the managing editor of Task & Purpose.