Servicemember injured in Afghanistan in 2017 promoted, awarded presidential medal

Newly promoted captain Iveri Buadze received his medal from defence minister and GDF chief. Photo via Ministry of Defence of Georgia., 21 Sep 2020 - 15:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

Iveri Buadze, a Georgian servicemember injured in a blast while serving in the Resolute Support peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan in 2017, has been awarded the President's Medal for Military Courage and promoted in recognition of his service on Monday.

Senior lieutenant Buadze, now promoted to captain, received the recognition from Minister of Defence Irakli Garibashvili and Major General Giorgi Matiashvili, Chief of the Georgian Defence Forces, and received words of gratitude from the civilian and military leaders.

The servicemember, who is still undergoing medical rehabilitation following his severe injury in the Afghan mission, also heard assurances from the ministry and GDF heads of their support in the process of restoring his health.

Buadze was injured while on a mission in northern Afghanistan's Parwān Province, near the Bagram Air Base, on September 6, 2017. He received the wounds when a suicide bomber detonated his charge near the peacekeeping forces.

Last year, then-prime minister Mamuka Bakhtadze said Buadze had saved three of his fellow soldiers in the attack. Bakhtadze made the comments while meeting Buadze to present him and his family with a flat from the government.

The Georgian peacekeeper underwent treatment and rehabilitation in Germany, the United States and Georgia. The US Army website ran a feature story on the Georgian soldier that said he had "cheated death" in the incident and surprised medical professionals with his recovery.

In 2019, he was invited by Georgian basketball star Zaza Pachulia to watch a National Basketball Association game between Detroit Pistons, then the team Pachulia played for, and Washington Wizards.

Buadze now works as an instructor for tactical preparation at Georgia's National Defence Academy.