Yesterday two heroes were honored for their service and sacrifice; one receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor while the other was laid to rest. Two great men who gave so much to their country and saved many lives in the process. Both of these men rose to their sense of duty but through all of their accolades remained humble, mourning the loss of friends.
Former Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha is the fourth living service member to receive the nation’s highest award for valor, the Congressional Medal of Honor, for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq. Seven other service members have posthumously been awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions in those wars. Receiving this award for his bravery under attack at COP Keating in Afghanistan. The October 3, 2009 attack took the lives of 8 fellow service men leaving 24, including himself, wounded. This remains one of the deadliest attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan.
In an interview Romesha said that he feels a sense of guilt for those that died because he told them he was coming but through the intensity of the battle Romesha was unable to get to them. In addition to this award, Romesha awards also include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge. Having left the Army in 2011, he currently resides in North Dakota with his wife and three children.
Chris Kyle was a name many only knew after he published his book, The American Sniper, chronicling his life as a Navy Seal. He was then featured on NBC’s show, Stars Earn Stripes, where he assisted a celebrity on missions to simulate military life in combat. However, Chris Kyle was a former Navy SEAL having spent 10 years with this elite force and is documented for having the highest kill count as a sniper.
Kyle was laid to rest yesterday in his home state of Texas after being shot by a fellow service member, that Kyle was trying to help through his PTSD issues, on a gun range in TX last week. A beautiful ceremony that was attended by so many that it was held at the Dallas Cowboy Stadium. Many people spoke of Chris’ bravery but most talked of his antics and practical jokes, love for God and his family. The mother of a former teammate spoke on Kyle’s love of giving back saying that he donated the proceeds of his book to the families of two Navy Seals, Marc Lee and Ryan Job, who fought alongside him in a 2006 battle that led to their deaths. His wife Taya spoke at the end of the service, she spoke directly to her children telling them how much their daddy loved them and shared a few intimate family memories that will live in the minds of those who heard them.
Daily there are service members living, dying, receiving awards and struggling with demons however we cannot forget their sacrifices for our country.
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