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Purple Heart Veteran Attacked Outside NH Sports Bar

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Paul Hayes was arrested in connection with the assault. (Photo credit: Portsmouth, New Hampshire Police)

Paul Hayes was arrested in connection with the assault. (Photo credit: Portsmouth, New Hampshire Police)

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PORTSMOUTH, N.H.  (CBS) – He nearly died serving our country, and now a Peabody Army veteran is back in a hospital bed after an attack outside a bar.

Steven Bohn is a war hero who earned a Purple Heart for his sacrifice in Afghanistan, but he never expected to face a danger here at home.

He received the Purple Heart as a member of the 101st Airborne after a suicide bomber hit his base in Afghanistan in 2008.

WBZ-TV’s Peg Rusconi reports

Now he’s recovering from another attack he didn’t anticipate. A friend invited Bohn to a birthday party at The Page Restaurant sports bar in Portsmouth, N.H. Saturday night.

“We were in the club for maybe an hour and a half two hours,” Bohn says.  “People were getting out-of-hand drunk.  I left, went outside, smoked a cigarette, went to turn around to go back in, got punched in the back of the head.”

Bohn says he recalls very little about what happened because he was struck in the back of the head, but police describe an ugly incident.

“The off-duty cop who was the only one to help me when I was unconscious said there were probably 4 people kicking me,” explains Bohn.

Police say Bohn and Daniel May got into some kind of dispute in the bar.  They’ve charged May and another man, Paul Hayes, with assault, and are asking anyone who was in the area and witnessed the assault to come forward.

In the meantime, Bohn says, the attack aggravated some old injuries.

“They ruptured my bladder by stepping on me and kicking me,” he says.

He adds that he assumes his assailants don’t care about his service, and he’s choosing to focus once again on recovering.

Earlier this year, Bohn testified before Congress about the hurdles wounded servicemen face.  He is currently recovering from the attack in a local hospital.

The owner of the sports bar declined comment.

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