SSG Romesha, Medal of Honor, Battle of COP Keating
Today the President will be awarding the Medal of Honor to Clinton Romesha for his heroism during the battle of COP Keating.
The staff sergeant helped repel an enemy attack of some 300 fighters who outnumbered the defenders of Combat Outpost Keating in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan. The Soldiers awoke Oct. 3, 2009, to find the enemy occupying the high ground surrounding their combat outpost.
Romesha braved intense enemy fire to mobilize a five-man team, according to sources who were there. He reportedly 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. Yet he continued to fight.
He directed air support that destroyed more than 30 Taliban fighters and personally took out several other enemy positions, according to reports. He provided covering fire and helped three of his wounded comrades to reach the aid station. He also braved fire to recover several fallen comrades.
The Army also set up this pretty slick website with a video and slides of the "Battlescape" that you should take a look at as well. The graphic up above is from that website.
If you haven't read Jake Tapper's book about the battle, entitled "The Outpost" you should. We're hoping to get part of it in the magazine shortly so you can read a portion either way. But Jake did some interviews with SSG Romesha, and at the very least you should spend some time today watching these videos:
UPDATE: Newer readers of The Burn Pit might not know our involvement in the COP Keating stuff. During the battle, the defenders of COP Keating had all their personal belongings destroyed by fire and artillery. The American Legion received an email from one of the guys stationed there, lamenting what he viewed as the interest of people in the US to what was happening.
most people back home dont even know, no one gives a shit
At that point The American Legion started up a COP Keating Relief Fund, which ended up raising over $200,000 in cash and matching donations which we sent to the men of the 3-61 CAV. We replaced computers, X-Box gaming systems, cameras and other things the troops requested.
The men of 3-61 sent a picture with their thanks: