SSG Romesha, Medal of Honor, Battle of COP Keating

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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 army lays out what he went through that day:

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

You can read that post here. 

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:



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God Bless the men of the 361 Cav. We're proud of your service! Thank you.
from a 20 yr Navy Vet

Thank God first, that he saw fit to help you do, what you did and for those you SAVEDyou had
an Angel on your shoulder my Brother. God will take care of the rest. Your Brother in Arms,
U.S.Navy Retired.

It brings tears and a lump in your throat now to be recognized for what just comes natural to many, and you were recognized for taking the lead and being positive,
In the years to come you will realize how many more people you made possible to be at events like birthdays, weddings, graduations, athletic events, Christmas, Halloween, and Anniversaries. These numbers will multiply because of the work you and your team did that day. The men who lost their lives would have done it for you, as you were willing to give up yours for them. Things will get better, and the violence will be replaced by love and gratitude. God Speed.

It is a true testament to the valor of someone like the sgt. to put himself in harms way for other`s. Believe that God put him there that day to save his fellow soldier`s, & he answered the call. God bless him & all the soldier`s & military personal in Afganistan !! It was very deserving ,that he win the Medal Of HONOR !!

I'm in tears listening to SSG Romesha. His braveness, valor, courage and love for his fellow soldiers is unmatched. This is a true hero in every sense of the word. God Bless him and his family always, former Sgt USAF G. Lisboa Jr.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.