SGT Kyle White, 173rd ABCT, 2-503rd to receive Medal of Honor

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SGT Kyle White, 173rd ABCT, 2-503rd to receive Medal of Honor

First, background from The Army Times:

High in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, the enemy ambush was quick and deadly.

Spc. Kyle White’s platoon leader was dead, as was a Marine sergeant tasked with advising Afghan soldiers. A fellow paratrooper was wounded, and at least three others were missing.

White, already dazed from an explosion, repeatedly ran the gauntlet of enemy fire to get to the wounded and fallen. When the shooting stopped and night fell, White, who was barely 20 years old, cared for his wounded brother, called in steady radio reports, directed security and guided in close-air support until the medevac birds were able to come and evacuate the wounded and the dead.

For his actions more than six years ago, on Nov. 8, 2007, White will receive the Medal of Honor, the White House announced Tuesday.

The wounded trooper they are referring to is SPC Kain Schilling, who wrote a MUST READ letter that our friend Leta Carruth of Cow Pastures to Kosovo posted:

The trail we were on was very narrow.  On the right was a cliff going straight up.  To the left was a cliff going straight down.  The terrain was rocky shale, rough as shit, nowhere to go.   As soon as I thought about where those shots are coming from, an instant barrage of AK, PKM and RPG fire came raining in on us. SPC White and I turned to head to a rock we had previously passed.  SPC White was laying down as much suppressive fire as a full auto M4 will.   Just as SPC White emptied his first magazine we both were hit by an RPG blast.  I was dazed.  SPC White was knocked out and had received shrapnel to his face.  After regaining consciousness we both made it behind cover and tried to orient ourselves and find out where all the incoming fire is coming from.  The first thing I wanted to do was get some kind of fire support out to try to gain fire superiority.  I discovered that I had NO COMS.   Neither did SPC White.

He continues:

I’m not sure when SGT Bocks was hit but it was during the time that SPC White was giving me first aid that he noticed that SGT Bocks, who was about 10 meters from our position in the open, had been hit and was too wounded to make it to us.  I continued to try to get COMS with one arm (still not knowing my radio has been shot out) as SPC White was running out to get SGT Bocks.  SPC White attempted to get to SGT Bocks multiple times but was unsuccessful because the amount of fire he would attract towards SGT Bocks.  As SPC White was still trying to get SGT Bocks, the rounds were impacting around his feet.  I could see the impacts when those rounds would hit the shiny shale rock.  Each impact would make terrifying sparks to say the least.  After several attempts to cross the 10 meters between SPC White and SGT Bocks, he was finally able to reach Bocks and pull him to a relatively safe position.  SPC White did everything he could to stop the bleeding but, despite his efforts, Marine SGT Allen Bocks succumbed to his wounds.  SPC White was willing to sacrifice his life to get a fellow service member no matter branch, no matter how well he knew him.  He was going to help in any way he could.   At one point SPC White looked over and saw the impact of a round to my leg as it shot a puff of ACU out. He then moved to me and took his belt off and used it as a tourniquet and slowed the bleeding.  SPC White eventually got a working radio from SGT Bocks and made COMS.  As he was heading back to me a massive impact hit and knocked SPC White down. The blast felt like someone just punched you in the nose.  At first I thought it was an RPG but later found it to be a friendly 120mm mortar.  I heard the radio keying up and I yelled to Kyle to get the radio after thinking he might not get up.  But he did.

In addition to the above account SPC White helped call in Close Air Support (CAS), and fire support.  He took control of SGT Bocks and directed an ANA element to secure our position and all sensitive items.  Amazingly he guided in the medevac to our location, which seemed impossible with the terrain.   Kyle saved my life and many others as well as putting himself in harms way for myself and Bocks multiple times.

There is more over at Leta's blog which you can read by CLICKING HERE.  Leta has helped us with many things in the past, and she'll be helping us to set something up for Kyle in DC when he gets his award.  Leta also has this chilling footage of the MEDEVAC birds coming to get the guys wounded in this battle.  It is truly amazing.

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Rock Force, Rock Steady. Bless you young man.

God bless the brave warriors of The Herd.

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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.