Veterans

February 11, 2013

Army vet receiving Medal of Honor for Afghan fight

President Barack Obama is awarding the Medal of Honor to an Army veteran for his courageous leadership during a daylong firefight in Afghanistan.

Former SSgt. Clinton Romesha was recognized Feb. 11 at the White House for his actions during the 2009 attack on Combat Outpost Keating in the mountains near the Pakistan border. About 50 U.S. troops were at the outpost when it came under fire by hundreds of Taliban fighters, and Romesha led a fight against the enemy to protect the camp.

Eight U.S. soldiers were killed in the fighting and other 22 wounded, including Romesha, who was peppered with shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade but fought through his wounds. He dismisses his injuries as “nothing” compared to those suffered by some of his fellow soldiers.

“I’ve had buddies that have lost eyesight and lost limbs,” Romesha said in a news conference last month after Obama called to tell him he would receive the award. “I would rather give them all the credit they deserve for sacrificing so much. For me it was nothing, really. I got a little peppered, that was it.”

Jake Tapper, a CNN anchor who wrote a book detailing the firefight, said many key officers at the outpost were away the day of the firefight and Romesha rose to the occasion and filled the leadership vacuum. But he says Romesha remains astonishingly humble.

“Everything was just about his buddies and trying to save his fellow soldiers and trying to do everything he could, literally everything he could, at great risk to his own life over and over,” said Tapper, author of “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor.” ”He’s still very broken up about how he couldn’t save everyone. He saved lives that day, without question, but eight of the guys died that day and that still tears him up.”

Romesha also served twice in Iraq and will be the fourth living Medal of Honor recipient for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. It is the nation’s highest military decoration for valor.

Romesha, who grew up in Lake City, Calif., deployed out of Fort Carson, Colo. He now lives in Minot, N.D., with his wife and three children and works in oil field safety.

Combat Outpost Keating sat in a valley and came under attack from the mountains on all four sides at 6 a.m. on Oct. 3, 2009. An account of the fight by the Army says Romesha “displayed extraordinary heroism through a daylong engagement in which he killed multiple enemy fighters, recovered fallen soldiers and led multiple recovery, resupply, and counterattack operations.”

When three Taliban fighters breached the camp’s perimeter, Romesha shot and killed them with a rifle that belonged to the Afghan troops that he only had basic knowledge of. They were among more than 10 Taliban that Romesha killed that day under heavy enemy fire, and he also directed air assaults to protect the camp and recovered the bodies of U.S. troops who died in the battle.

“We weren’t going to be beat that day,” Romesha told last month’s news conference. “And seeing all those guys pull together, I mean you’re not going to back down in the face of adversity like that. We were just going to win, plain and simple.” AP

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph

Doolittle Tokyo Raiders to receive Congressional Gold Medal

Air Force photograph The USS Hornet had 16 U.S. Army Air Forces North American B-25B Mitchells on deck, ready for the Tokyo Raid on April 18, 1942. Seventy-three years ago, 80 men achieved the unimaginable when they took off fr...
 
 
Army photograph by Patrick Bloodgood

Over 27,000 burial sites to open at Arlington next year

Army photograph by Patrick Bloodgood Construction crews move dirt and prepare the ground at the Arlington National Cemetery Millennium Expansion Project, Feb. 19, 2014. The project also involves restoring an impaired stream tha...
 
 
Navy photograph by JOC Sam Shavers

SecNav commemorates Battle of Iwo Jima

Navy photograph by JOC Sam Shavers Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus delivers remarks at the 70th anniversary commemoration ceremony of The Battle for Iwo Jima in Iwo To, Japan. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus arrived on Iwo To, ...
 

 

Applications accepted for 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games

The Department of Veterans Affairs is currently accepting applications from Veterans interested in competing in the 2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games. Applications can be completed online at www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov, and will be accepted through May 15. Veterans ages 55 and older who are enrolled for VA care are eligible to participate. The 2015 National Veterans...
 
 

VA eliminates net worth as health care eligibility factor

The Department of Veterans Affairs is updating the way it determines eligibility for VA health care, a change that will result in more veterans having access to the health care benefits they’ve earned and deserve. Effective 2015, the VA eliminated the use of net worth as a determining factor for both health care programs and...
 
 

VA establishes MyVA advisory committee

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced March 13 the establishment of the MyVA Advisory Committee. The committee brings together skilled experts from the private, non-profit and government sectors to assist in reorienting the Department to better meet the needs of Veterans. This committee is charged with advising the Secretary of Veterans Affairs with a focus...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>