An Army of One
If you're read Jake Tapper's The Outpost, you know all about SSG Clinton Romesha's heroic actions. (Highly recommended reading, BTW.) If not, here's just a part of what he did during one of the most ferocious pitched battles of the Afghanistan War:
Before dawn on Oct. 3, 2009, an estimated 350 enemy fighters swarmed down from the heights in a well-coordinated attacked backed by recoilless rifle and mortar fire. They planned to overrun the base.
Romesha and the other soldiers of Bravo Troop would not let it happen.
About 50 American and 20 Afghan troops, 12 Afghan security guards and two Latvian trainers were defending the base.
There are conflicting accounts of the actions of the Afghans. Initial reports said the Afghans fled as the attack began, but Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew McMurtrey, the lone airman at the base and a communications specialist assigned to Bravo Troop, said the Afghans took the brunt of the first wave of the assault.
At the COP Keating aid station, "the ANA (Afghan National Army) started coming in pretty beat up with lots of wounds" from rocket-propelled grenade shrapnel, McMurtrey said in an Air Force report.
According to the citation for the Medal of Honor, Romesha, 31, of Minot, N.D., "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."
Romesha ignored his wounds and rallied the Keating defenders.
"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," the citation said.
Romesha will receive his MOH today from President Obama at the White House.
No partisan sniping in the comments on this one, please. Romesha is an American hero, and it is our President's duty and honor to present him with the medal awarded him by Congress.
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