A former paratrooper who became the sole survivor of an Afghanistan outpost under heavy attack in 2008, today received the Medal of Honor becoming the ninth living recipient from actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.
“In Ryan Pitts you see the humility and the loyalty that define America’s men and women in uniform,” President Obama said at a White House ceremony.
Pitts insists that the honor is not his alone. It’s a distinction he shares with the men he fought alongside. Nine died and 27 were wounded, including Pitts, in the battle, one of the fiercest of the entire war.
“Valor was everywhere that day and the real heroes are the nine men who made the ultimate sacrifice so the rest of us could return home. It is their names, not mine, that I want people to know,” Pitts told reporters today.
Nine Soldiers — Spc. Sergio Abad, Cpl. Jonathan Ayers, Cpl. Jason Bogar, 1st Lt. Jonathan Brostrom, Sgt. Israel Garcia, Cpl. Jason Hovater, Cpl. Matthew Phillips, Cpl. Pruitt Rainey, and Cpl. Gunnar Zwilling — were killed in the battle.