An Oakdale man will be recognized for his military service with a special grant from the Minnesotans' Military Appreciation Fund (MMAF) on Veterans Day.
MMAF will award two Minnesota wounded warriors cash grants at the Vikings game on Veterans Day.
SPC Steven Solie of Oakdale is a member of the 644th Regional Support Group, U.S. Army Reserve who served in Iraq in October 2006 and in Afghanistan from March 2011 to May 2012.
Solie, served as a truck driver during his tour in Afghanistan, would transport weapons to and from various locations. While on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, Solie was injured during an IED explosion.
On June 5 Solie was sent out on his first mission to bring weapons from Kabul to Kandahar. During the trip Solie was leading an envoy when they drove near a hold that was lined with explosives. The area blew up and launched Solie's vehicle 10 feet into the air and flew about 40 feet, Solie said.
The truck flipped and landed on its side. A cooler filled with energy drinks in the truck broke open and an energy drink exploded in Solie's face.
As Solie and his comrades made their way out of the vehicle guns were being fired at the group. Solie was able to get transportation for medical attention.
As a result of his service, Solie was awarded a Purple Heart the next day, on June 6, 2011.
He was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries he sustained in the explosion, including bulging disks in his back and neck, muscle damage, facial lacerations and near-constant headaches and migraines.
"When the truck landed on its side it hit us with so much force that my whole body got ripped to one side, so that has caused the headaches," Solie said.
Solie added that his physical therapist and doctors say that the headaches and migraines might never go away.
Solie, who was familiar with MMAF's grant program, applied for a grant and was informed three weeks ago that he would be receiving the grant during the Minnesota Vikings football game on Veterans Day.
He will receive a $2,000 grant from MMAF, for a grant total of $2,500. A Minneapolis man will also receive an $8,000 grant from MMAF on Sunday for his service in the Marines.
Solie has already re-enlisted for a one-year extension. From there he plans to re-enlist again until he retires or through medical retirement.
MMAF is the nation’s largest non-partisan, non-political, non-profit organization of its kind in this country. Its mission of MMAF is to say "Thanks" to every Minnesota soldier who has served in combat since September 11, 2001.
MMAF has awarded more than 14,000 grants to soldiers — totaling more than $8.5 million dollars in less than seven years. Of those grants, 62 went to the families of Minnesota soldiers killed in combat, 420 grants went to injured Minnesota soldiers, and the remaining grants went to Minnesotans who have served honorably.