Former Sgt. Kyle White will receive the U.S. military’s highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, on Tuesday, Army Times reports.
White is being honored for his valor in a deadly enemy ambush that left five soldiers and one Marine dead in November 2007.
White, then a specialist with 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, is being honored for repeatedly running 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.
Army Times details the events of Nov. 8, 2007.
White was walking with his platoon, with Afghan soldiers bringing up the rear when the first shot was fired. Suddenly, “the whole valley lit up,” White said, and he began shooting back.
White was then knocked unconscious by an RPG. When he woke up, he saw someone in his platoon had been shot in the shoulder. White cared for the wounded soldier and made sure he did not have any other injuries. He then returned to the fighting.
Shortly after, he was made aware that another soldier had been hit. White dragged him to safety, using his own body as a shield from enemy fire. He tried to stop the bleeding, doing everything he could “until he was no longer with us,” White said.
Several other soldiers had also been wounded. White tended to them while relaying situation reports to the operations center. The men stayed in the area for hours, waiting for medevac
All of the Americans on that patrol were killed or wounded, White said.
Fourteen soldiers were awarded the Purple Heart, one the Distinguished Service Cross, one the Silver Star, four the Bronze Star with V device, and two the Army Commendation Medal with V device for their actions that day.
White spent a few days in the hospital at Bagram Air Base before he was allowed to return to the U.S. for the funeral of his best friend, Cpl. Sean A. Langevin, 23. Langevin was one of the five soldiers killed that day.
White returned to Afghanistan to finish his deployment. He left the Army in 2011. He recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and now lives and works in Charlotte, N.C.
Watch Sgt. Kyle White receive the Medal of Honor below: