Obama to award Medal of Honor to veteran of Afghanistan attack

January 11, 2013

President Obama next month will award the Medal of Honor to a former Army staff sergeant for his “courageous actions” during an Oct. 2009 attack on a remote U.S. outpost in Afghanistan, the White House announced Friday.

Clinton Romesha will be the fourth living person to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq, according to the White House.

The Oct. 3, 2009, attack on Combat Outpost Keating in eastern Afghanistan was one of the most deadly battles of the war. Some 300 Taliban insurgents launched an early-morning attack on the outpost, killing eight U.S. soldiers and wounding two dozen. About 70 American, Afghan and Latvian soldiers were stationed at the outpost, according to the Army Times.

The battle is detailed by CNN’s Jake Tapper in his recently-released book, “The Outpost.” 

According to the Army Times, Romesha, now 31, “moved under intense enemy fire to reconnoiter the battlefield and seek reinforcements from the barracks before returning to action with the support of an assistant gunner:”

Romesha “took out an enemy machine gun team and, while engaging a second, the generator he was using for cover was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, inflicting him with shrapnel wounds,” according to the [Medal of Honor] citation.

Undeterred by his injuries, Romesha continued to fight, and upon the arrival of another soldier to aid him and with the assistant gunner, Romesha again “rushed through the exposed avenue to assemble additional soldiers.”

Romesha then mobilized and led a five-man team and returned to the fight.

“With complete disregard for his own safety, Romesha continually exposed himself to heavy enemy fire as he moved confidently about the battlefield, engaging and destroying multiple enemy targets, including three Taliban fighters who had breached the combat outpost’s perimeter,” according to the citation.

Read more from The Army Times here.

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David Nakamura · January 11, 2013