Soldier Awarded Medal of Honor

President Barack Obama awarded Army SSgt. Ryan Pitts the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest honor for valor in combat, during a ceremony at the White House Monday. As a forward observer with the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Pitt helped ward off over 200 insurgent attackers during a July 2008 mission in Wanat, Afghanistan. Despite his own severe injuries, he continued to shoot off hand grenades and suppressant fire until a reinforcement team arrived, after which he gave up his own weapon and gathered ammo for the team before calling in critical details to the command post for direct fire support. “It is remarkable that we have young men and women in our military who, day in and day out, are able to perform with so much integrity, so much humility, and so much courage,” said Obama. “Ryan represents the very best of that tradition, and we are very, very proud of him.” He is the ninth living service member to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq and the third soldier from his battalion to receive the award for heroics during their 2007-2008 deployment to Afghanistan.