Hoeven Honors North Dakota Purple Heart Recipient Russell Ouart

FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today joined local, state and National Guard officials at a ceremony to present Rusty Ouart, a North Dakota Iraq War veteran, with the Purple Heart, a decoration awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces who are wounded or killed in combat. Hoeven released the following statement in honor of Ouart. 

“Rusty made tremendous sacrifices defending our nation and was injured while protecting our freedoms. This Purple Heart is well-deserved recognition for his work and I hope it serves as a reminder to Rusty and his family of our nation’s gratitude and respect. We wish Rusty and his family all the best as he continues on the road to recovery,” said Hoeven. 

In 2008, Ouart was injured in a mortar attack while serving in Iraq, and suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that required extensive medical treatment. Senator Hoeven worked on Ouart’s behalf while still Governor, helping Ouart’s wife, Marilyn, travel to Washington State after Ouart went into kidney failure while being treated at Fort Lewis. As governor and senator he also advocated for Ouart to receive medical care in North Dakota, as the family requested, and pressed for him to be awarded the Purple Heart.