Published: Aug 07, 2013 5:07 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 07, 2013 6:09 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Cape Coral paid tribute to America's men and women who have earned one of the military's highest honors: the Purple Heart.

Mayor John Sullivan dedicated this day to the city's combat-wounded veterans.

"We were on a routine patrol and ended up getting ambushed and I was hit with an IED," said Specialist Michael Araujo.

It was an October day in 2009, when an operation in Afghanistan took a turn for the worst.

"I ended up choosing to amputate my leg because it was so bad," said Specialist Araujo.

Specialist Michael Araujo has now been awarded the prestigious purple heart for his bravery on the battle field.  

"My dad presented it to me, but my dad did 23 years, so to me, it was that much more special," said Specialist Araujo.

Colonel Bert Kurland is the recipient of two Purple Hearts.

"You don't earn it, that what's really gets me sometimes, people say we won the Purple Heart, well, we weren't competing for it," said Colonel Bert Kurland.

In WWII, Colonel Kurland was wounded in action at the hands of an enemy during the last airborne operation of the war.

"It was a parachute jump, my parachute was hit by... I don't even know what, by some of artillery or morterer and my chute collapsed," said Colonel Kurland.

He was hit in the leg and it dislocated both hips and his left knee.

"They are injuries I call superficial, I didn't lose a limb and my recovery was fast," said Colonel Kurland.

And then in Vietnam, during a civilian compound attack, the Colonel was hit again after disarming four grenades.

"Someone saw me, fired and blew my M-16 right out of my hands," said Colonel Kurland.