Skip to comments.Fourth living veteran of Afghanistan war to receive Medal of Honor
Posted on 01/11/2013 11:33:17 AM PST by jazusamo
WASHINGTON Former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha will receive the Medal of Honor in February for his actions as a section leader in Afghanistan in 2009, the fourth living veteran of the war in Afghanistan to receive the award.
Romesha was section leader with Bravo Troop, 3-61 Cavalry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, at combat outpost Keating in Kamdesh District, Afghanistan on Oct. 3, 2009, when his unit came under heavy fire.
According to written accounts by military historian Richard S. Lowry, enemy fighters launched an assault against the post, attacking from three sides and coming close to taking the ammunition supply point.
Romesha led a counterattack to reclaim the ammunition bunker, Lowry wrote.
Eight soldiers were killed in the firefight, which Lowry said lasted 12 hours.
Romesha, who enlisted in 1999 and left the Army in 2011, deployed to Afghanistan twice and Iraq four times. He has several military decorations, including a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, three Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achievement Medals and a Kosovo Campaign Medal.
The attack on COP Keating remains one of the deadliest attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan, and is chronicled in the book The Outpost, by Jake Tapper. In it, Tapper writes that Romesha is the son of a leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church in Cedarville, Calif. : His parents had hoped he would follow his father into the church leadership, and Romesha had in fact gone to seminary for four years during high school from five till seven every morning but ultimately it just wasnt for him. He didnt even go on a mission, a regular rite for young Mormon men. Romesha was better suited to this kind of mission, with guns and joes under his command.
Romesha lives in Minot, N.D., with his wife and three children. He enlisted in September 1999.
The announcement of his award came the same day Afghan president Hamid Karzai met with White House and Pentagon officials to discuss the future of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
The scarcity of battlefield valor awards has been a sore spot for veterans groups and lawmakers in recent years. Only seven men, including Romesha, have been awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan since 2001, and only four have received the award for valor in Iraq.
Leo Shane contributed to this report.
Medal of Honor Ping!
Makes me proud to have been in the 4th Div. many years ago. Way to go Sarge. Salutes up.
the MOH is supposed to be a rarity.
That's an odd statement.
I would hope that any perceived stinginess in awarding medals for valor is because the military maintains a high standard and is determined to not hand them out like popcorn.
Hopefully we no longer have phonies like John Kerry and John Murtha getting medals for gaming the system. The military should have learned a lesson about stolen valor from the likes of those two asshats.
Yes, it is and I’ve not read about it being a “sore spot” with veterans groups that I can recall, I don’t know where she got that from. I’ve seen comments here at FR about it from time to time though.
You cited two perfect examples of unearned awards.
Congrats Sgt Romesha! It’s just unfortunate he may have to receive the award from a p-resident who doesn’t give a shiite about our soldiers..
Agree, but by what measure? We've been at "war" for over 10 years and had 11 MOHs.
There were 464 earned during WWII.
The reason that it is a sore point is that award of the highest valor awards (Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross)has occurred at a much lower rate than previous wars, even when you take into account the different nature of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The petty bureaucrats have turned the process into a legal undertaking where tons of evidence must be produced and then sifted by knuckleheads who have never been in a combat zone, much less ever been shot at. The nominees have also been subject to background checks to ensure that a politically embarrassing award is not made. The result has been paralysis at the top end of the awards system. We have actually awarded far fewer of these level awards proportionally than have the Brits, who have never been accused of handing out medals freely.
The opposite end of the problem was a proliferation of combat service awards at the lower end of the award pyramid, not valor awards. These were awarded too freely, and have been tightened up. However, don’t confuse these “Been there, done that” with the top valor awards.
“...Romesha lives in Minot, N.D.,...”
Oh, he’ll assimilate nicely back into civilian life! Good gawd!!
And then you have a SCOTUS who says it's ok for any loudmouth knucklehead in a bar to claim any award they choose.
The White House announced this afternoon that President Obama will on February 11th award the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha, formerly of 3-61 CAV, for his actions on October 3, 2009, when Combat Outpost Keating was attacked.
I know a little bit about Romesha and the attack on COP Keating, having written a book about both, and I am so happy for both Ro and his buddies for this well-deserved honor.
There were many heroes that day, many of whom didnt survive that attack, but Romesha is without question one of the bravest men Ive ever known.
Romesha will only be the fourth living Medal of Honor recipient for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. He retired from the Army in April 2011 and now lives in North Dakota with his wife and three kids.
In my book The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, I decribe Romesha as:
an intense guy, short and wiry, the son of a leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Cedarville, California. His parents had hoped he would follow his father into the church leadership, and Romesha had in fact gone to seminary for four years during high school from five till seven every morning but ultimately, it just wasnt for him. He didnt even go on a mission, a regular rite for young Mormon men. Romesha was better suited to this kind of mission, with guns and joes under his command.
This doesnt look anything like him, but the Army put it out today:
Combat Outpost Keating was located at the bottom of three steep mountains just 14 miles from the Pakistan border.
As you may know, on October 3, 2009, up to 400 Taliban all of whom had the high ground attacked the outpost. The battle was long and bloody. Eight U.S. troops were killed.
Here are some tidbit about Romesha from the book.
During the fighting, Romesha:
stood on the deck off the aid station, in a semiprotected space known as the Café.
Hed had enough. Hed been trying to find out what was going on at LRAS‑2 when he spotted three Afghans by the shura building. Two had AK‑47s, the third an RPG. One was wearing camouflage, as the ANA troops often did. He turned to the Latvians, Lakis and Dabolins, who were standing just outside the operations center.
You dont have ANA on that side of the camp, Romesha confirmed.
No, said Lakis.
So that was the enemy.
This is a gimme shot, Romesha thought. I couldnt ask for a better shot. The insurgents walked by Stand‑To Truck 2, where they casually put down their weapons. They had entered Camp Keating unfettered, without being met by an ounce of resistance. One began adjusting his bandanna. They seemed to think the camp had been conquered.
They were wrong. Romesha fired and popped the fighter with the bandanna
through his neck; he fell like a sack of potatoes.
But enough Taliban get inside the camp that the men of Black Knight Troop, 3-61 CAV, begin pulling back and holding on to a few buildings, ceding their own camp to the enemy. Romesha does not accept this.
We need to retake this fucking camp and drive the fucking Taliban out! he says.
He runs to Red Platoon barracks.
Were about to take this bitch back, he announced. I need a fucking group of volunteers. He got them: Thomas Rasmussen, Mark Dulaney, Josh Dannelley, Chris Jones, and Matthew Miller. They knew they were going to be utterly and completely outgunned, but they had no other option.
Congratulations, Romesha. Looking forward to seeing you.
Sounds like he has big cajones, had had enough and decided to do something about the Taliban.
Thanks...I don’t know but it doesn’t sound far off the mark because of what was taking place around that time.
Marine Corporal Dakota Meyer was awarded the MOH for an action about a month prior to this action in the Kunar Province. In that action they called for air and artillery support and were refused because of the supposed close proximity of Afghan civilians but that’s another story.
Thanks for the ping and book references!
I heard Tapper speak about this on Rush.
It's great to see a living MOH earner. Such a solemn medal as most are. What to say with such acts of selfless determination, indomitable spirit and sense of duty beyond words?
Here's my warmest most crisp[virtual] salute. Bless you sarge, may God bless you and yours and thank-you.Small words I know but no words can explain the best of the best in the worst of the worst hell on earth.
Took me near a half hour to write that and I still can't give it( the actions)/him justice.