Former Army Sgt. Kyle J. White, who exposed himself to enemy fire repeatedly to save the lives of and evacuate his comrades while serving in Afghanistan, received the Medal of Honor from President Obama on Tuesday afternoon at the White House. Per the Associated Press:
White saved a comrade’s life and helped ensure that other wounded survivors of the attack were evacuated.
Obama says White motivates Americans to be the best they can be. He says, quote, “You make us proud.”
White is only the seventh living recipient of the top military award for valor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The Army says White was knocked unconscious soon after the ambush began. When he came to, most of his platoon had slid for cover down a cliff. He stayed above to protect a fellow soldier, help direct mortar fire at attackers and mark a landing zone for a medical evacuation helicopter.
After the ceremony, White called the award “a representation of the responsibility we accept as warriors and members of a team,” and said it was therefore not an individual award solely honoring him, but those he served with: “Without the team, there could be no Medal of Honor — that is why I wear this medal for my team.”
He concluded saying that the metal bracelet he wears with the names of his fallen comrades is “perhaps even more precious” than the medal he just received. “They are my heroes,” White said.