Army outpost in Northeastern Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha asked his fellow soldiers as there is still volunteers to help him lead a counter-attack to take back through the gate.
He was surprised by the answer-a powerful moment of truth that he would later call the most beautiful moment of his military career.
Their outpost walked, Army, soldiers were killed, the remaining warriors were not able to go to ammunition and Taliban fighters had been violated by the port, Romesha explained.
“I said that I have a group of volunteers. Five guys who don’t even know what the plan was and did not know what I question was with pure sand and determination and said that she would follow me everywhere. I told them the counter-attack plan,” Romesha told Warrior Maven in an interview.
Romesha helped establish suppressive fire so that the soldiers could be recovered during the attack, destroyed numerous Taliban fighters through the gate, directed air support from Apache helicopters once they arrived and led a high-impact counterattack that turned the tide of the deadly battle on the morning of October 3, 2009.
Romesha and his fellow soldiers, who spent months on a small, 52 soldier-strong fighting position in the Province of Nuristan in Afghanistan called Combat Outpost Keating, were used to the daily attacks from Taliban fighters.
“All of a sudden we were flooded with machine guns, mortars, and Grenades. We were there three months and had gotten attacked pretty much on a daily basis, so it would not be unusual to wake up to something like that. When these rounds came, we knew that it was something else,” he explained.
Romesha explained that each defensive position was in a cyclic rate of fire try to defend as fast as they could shoot back, but the enemies overwhelming fire was too much for them.
“Soldiers started running out of ammunition in combat positions, and we could not get resupplies because the outpost was at the bottom of a valley. When you step out in the open, you had a purpose. Regardless of where we stood, bullets were just raining down on us,” he explained.
Romesha the counterattack plan was bold and ambitious because he wanted to lead a small team of soldiers to take back the ammunition points, the exit of the port to Taliban fighters to pour into a mortar position, and perform a crucial wounded restoring the fallen soldiers.
“The Lieutenant gave me a go on the plan. The Taliban fighters who had breached the thread was started torching all of the hard structures in the buildings and burning them. The entire outpost was on fire,” Romesha recalled.
Thanks to the resilience and the control of the provision of Romesha and other soldiers, they were able to fight their way back to the ammunition supply points at the outpost and back through the gate. This counter-pressure resulted in a close-quarter battle in which Taliban fighters were often less than 20 metres away, Romesha explained.
“We started to push the ammo back and began strengthening positions and that gave us a little more freedom of maneuver,” he said.
If this happens, air support, Apache attack helicopters came along with any reinforcements from the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.
He may not choose to explain things in this way, it seems clear from the events of that day that the entire outpost would probably not have survived – and victims would be much greater had Romesha is not shown that courage, spirit and leadership in the fight. His counter-attack saved the Outpost from total destruction.
While he, with a deadly glow of gunfire and repeatedly on the fact that he his life to save, defend, and recover from, his fellow-soldiers, Romesha was not thinking of the recognition on the day of the fight. In fact, upon learning years later that he would receive the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the battle, Romesha was surprised.
“It was really a team effort that day. If it wasn’t for that 52 guys I would not be here. I’d rather die today than take one shred of credit for doing nothing more than performing my task as everyone was doing,” he said.
Romesha went on to emphasize that, in his mind, the real heroes are the eight soldiers who died in battle that day.
“They are only gone, unless we do not forget. In my humble opinion, the real heroes are the ones who are not coming home. That are the only ones that deserve that title of hero. They gave everything, and more than ever asked of them,” he explained.
While he is still reluctant to acknowledge his own heroism on that day in 2009, called the Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan, Romesha received the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama in February, 2013.
On the day of the battle, Romesha was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavarly Regment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. He fought alongside fellow soldiers, and insists on remembering his fellow American soldiers who died that day.
To recognize and pay tribute to Romesha emphasis – the names of the eight soldiers who died during the attack: Vernon Martin, Justin Gallegos, Joshua Kirk, Josh Hardt, Michael Scusa, Stephen Mace, Christopher Griffin, and Kevin Thompson.
The intensity of devotion to his fellow soldiers, motivated by loyalty, love and protective instinct, on condition that the inspiration for Romesha’s actions in the battle.
“It was not a day of hatred toward the enemy. It didn’t matter about the politics. It was about brothers to your left and your right – we have no quarrel, because we hated the guys who were attacking us, we did it because we loved the guys on our left and right. Love will win over hate and anger every day of the week,” Romesha said.
Romesha is the son of a Vietnam veteran and a grandson of a second world War veteran. He lives in North Dakota.
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