August 2, 2004 at 1:22 AM EST - Updated July 1 at 11:15 PM
Staff Sergeant Paul Brondhaver stood before his church congregation Sunday night as a hero. A special service at Glen Este Baptist was planned to honor his courage and duty.
Brondhaver and his 216th Engineer Batallion were attacked by a rocket propelled grenade on July 7th. He was seriously wounded, but has amazed doctors with his recovery and now walks with the a cane.
During the service, Brondhaver was welcomed by veterans, and he was presented with a flag that flew over the capital building on 9-11 from congressman Rob Portman. Brondhaver also spoke at the podium, sharing his experience of the attack, but also thanking God for sparing his life. He says he'll never forget when he prayed with another soldier during the crossfire.
"No one in the 216th got hit during that prayer, and that's because of God. He was there, he preserved my life," says Brondhaver.
He also asked people to pray for the soldiers still in Iraq, the men and women he wants to return to if he fully recovers.
The Brondhavers were also given a gift from the church: a $7,500 check.
Next week, he will get the Purple Heart for fighting while wounded and protecting his men.