MEDAL OF HONOR FOR HEROISM AT COP KEATING
Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha to Become 4th Living MOH Recipient
By Harold Hutchison
On 3 October, 2009, Soldiers assigned to Company B, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division were attacked at Combat Outpost Keating. Fifty Americans and two Latvians were at COP Keating, and 19 more Americans at Observation Post Fritsch were attacked by over 300 insurgents.
During the extended battle, Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha “all over the place," said Master Sgt. Ronald Burton, operations noncommissioned officer in charge, 3rd Sqdrn., 61st Cav. Reg., 4th BCT, 4th ID, who was the first sergeant at COP Keating at the time of the attack. "We have our battle drills, but when things began to change, he took charge. He reported into us, and then he went back out, took part of the base, then defended it."
When the mortar pit at COP Keating was captured, Romesha led the effort to re-take it, then proceeded to provide covering fire to a relief force for OP Fritsch, and even went into the open to recover fallen Americans.
"You don't really wake up in the morning and think; 'today I'm gonna go try and be awarded the Medal of Honor,'" Romesha said in an article posted on Army.mil. "And for me, I hold true to that. I believe there's so many Soldiers out there, that if they were given the opportunity that we had faced that day, they would have done what I did.”
Staff Sergeant Romesha will receive the Medal of Honor on 11 February. He is the fourth living Medal of Honor recipient of the War on Terror. All four received the Medal for their service in Afghanistan. There have been no living recipients of the Medal of Honor from Operation Iraqi Freedom.