by Ed Sealy
With my second installment in my series of articles in honor of The Murph Challenge, I will shine a spotlight on one of our living Medal of Honor Recipients.
Today, we honor Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha.
Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha was born in August, 1981, in Lake City, California, to a family with a strong military background.
His grandfather, Aury Smith, is a World War II veteran who fought in the Battle of Normandy. His father is a Vietnam War veteran who later became a church leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Romesha is the fourth of five siblings, including two brothers who also joined the military. He is a member of the LDS Church and attended the seminary for four years during high school but ultimately decided not to become a missionary for the church as his family had hoped he would.
He married Tamara Romesha on February 13, 2000. They met in junior high school and began dating several years later. The couple have three children; Dessi, Gwen, and Colin.
In May of 2009, during his 4th overseas deployment, Romesha’s Unit was assigned to Combat Outpost Keating, in the Kamdesh District of Eastern Afghanistan.
A remote outpost in the mountainous region of Afghanistan that regularly came under attack from insurgents and would eventually be closed days after the attack on October 3rd, being called an “indefensible outpost.”
The following is the Army’s Official Narrative for the actions that led to Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha’s Medal of Honor Citation… and it is a very moving read…
“At 6 a.m., Oct. 3, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, came under complex attack by an enemy force estimated at 300 fighters. The fighters occupied the high ground on all four sides of the combat outpost and initiated the attack with concentrated fire from B10 recoilless rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, known as RPGs, DSHKA heavy machine gun fire, mortars, and small-arms fire.
“Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha displayed extraordinary heroism through a day-long engagement in which he killed multiple enemy fighters, recovered fallen Soldiers, and led multiple recovery, resupply, and counterattack operations …
Following military service, Romesha moved to North Dakota, where his sister lived, to look for a job in the oil industry.
He moved to Minot, North Dakota and purchased a 100-year-old, flood-damaged home that he is restoring himself. He currently works as a field safety specialist for KS Industries. His exploits during the firefight were later written about by journalist Jake Tapper in his book, The Outpost.
In a press conference on January 16, 2013, shortly after being notified he would receive the medal, Romesha played down his actions in the conflict, noting many other veterans who had received more serious injuries in the battle.
Romesha noted that he did not suffer post-traumatic stress disorder or other lasting psychological injuries from deployment, but that others he knew during the deployment did.
On February 11, 2013, Romesha received the Medal of Honor at a ceremony held at the White House. After receiving the award, when speaking to the press wearing his Stetson, Romesha stated he felt “conflicted” about receiving the medal due to the loss of those who died while serving with him.
Romesha received the award from President Barack Obama in an award ceremony at the White House on 11 February 2013. He is the fourth living Medal of Honor recipient for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (following Salvatore Giunta, Leroy Petry, and Dakota Meyer), and the eleventh overall for these wars.
Thank you to Staff Sergeant Clinton Romero for your service and your bravery. Your story will serve as tribute to your honor, character, and leadership and we will think of these things as we push ourselves past our limits during our Murph Challenge.
As always… Thank you to the CTF Army for the opportunity to host this event and the ability to honor the over 1.1 million service men who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation. Join us for the Murph Challenge on Monday, May 30th as we give thanks and celebrate the lives of those who allow us this blanket of Freedom!!
The Murph Challenge – www.themurphchallenge.com
A Letter From Dan Murphy (Michael Murphy’s father) – http://themurphchallenge.com/host/Dan-Murphy-MurphChallenge-2016.pdf
Medal of Honor Citation for Clinton Romesha – http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/3482/romesha-clinton-l.php