President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama on Monday awarded former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha the Medal of Honour for actions taken in a 2009 fire fight in Afghanistan.
Obama, during a ceremony held in the White House's East Room, detailed the heroism Romesha displayed on Oct. 3, 2009 when 300 Taliban fighters descended upon the 53 Americans at Army outpost Keating on the border of Pakistan under "almost unbelievable conditions," Obama said.
"That’s what these soldiers were asked to do-- defend the indefensible," Obama said of the outpost, which was situated at the bottom of a steep valley which left the soldiers open to attack, reports The Ticket.
"Explosions shook them out of their beds," that morning, Obama said, setting off "what’s been called one of the most intense battles of the entire war in Afghanistan."
Romesha sat, visibly displaying emotion, as the president detailed that day, which Romesha has emphasized was a team effort.
The soldiers faced rocket propelled grenades, machine guns, grenades, mortars and snipers. Romesha attacked and took out an enemy machine gun team, sustained shrapnel injuries in his hip, neck and arm, and continued fighting and tending to members of his unit. Romesha took a "100 meter run through a hail of bullets," Obama said, to reach his "fallen friends."
He "continually exposed himself to heavy enemy fire," read Romesha's award citation.
Romesha and his family currently live in Minot, N.D.
The Medal of Honour is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who display "gallantry above and beyond the call of duty."
From the White House: "The meritorious conduct must involve great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life. There must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct, and each recommendation for the award must be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit."
U.S. presidents have awarded over 3,400 medals since its creation in 1861.