Medal of Honor | Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha | War in Afghanistan

Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha awarded Medal of Honor for Afghanistan battle

Posted: Updated:

By NEDRA PICKLER | AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to an Army veteran for his courageous leadership during a daylong firefight in Afghanistan.

Former Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha was recognized Monday 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."

___

Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nedrapickler

  • MilitaryMore>>

  • First women move into Army platoon artillery jobs

    First women move into Army platoon artillery jobs

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 12:42 PM EDT2014-04-15 16:42:56 GMT
    Under a canopy of trees on the edge of a large field, soldiers from Bravo Battery are lying in a circle as they pore over targeting charts. Nearby, others are preparing the howitzer cannons as helicopters swoop overhead. At the edge of the circle, the platoon leader watches as the field artillerymen go through their training exercise.No one seems to notice the small knot of hair at the base of the lieutenant's helmet.
    Under a canopy of trees on the edge of a large field, soldiers from Bravo Battery are lying in a circle as they pore over targeting charts. Nearby, others are preparing the howitzer cannons as helicopters swoop overhead. At the edge of the circle, the platoon leader watches as the field artillerymen go through their training exercise.No one seems to notice the small knot of hair at the base of the lieutenant's helmet.
  • Schumer calls for parade to honor troops

    Schumer calls for parade to honor troops

    Sunday, April 13 2014 9:26 PM EDT2014-04-14 01:26:20 GMT
    Military NewsMilitary News
    Senator Charles Schumer is calling for New York City to host a homecoming parade for troops returning from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Parades down Broadway in lower Manhattan used to be a semi-regular event in the city from the 1920s until the 1960s. 
    Senator Charles Schumer is calling for New York City to host a homecoming parade for troops returning from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Parades down Broadway in lower Manhattan used to be a semi-regular event in the city from the 1920s until the 1960s. 
  • NSA 'cyber-attacks' military service academies

    NSA 'cyber-attacks' military service academies

    Thursday, April 10 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-04-10 19:19:43 GMT
    If Douglas MacArthur or Ulysses S. Grant went to the U.S. Military Academy today, they might be testing their defensive skills hunched in front of a computer screen. A team of caffeine-fueled cadets is spending long days this week in a computer lab trying to fend off threats cooked up by experts at the National Security Agency.
    If Douglas MacArthur or Ulysses S. Grant went to the U.S. Military Academy today, they might be testing their defensive skills hunched in front of a computer screen. A team of caffeine-fueled cadets is spending long days this week in a computer lab trying to fend off threats cooked up by experts at the National Security Agency.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices