Obama gives top honour to army hero


Washington - President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honour, America's highest military honour, to a former Army sergeant on Tuesday for saving the life of a fellow soldier and calling in air support to beat back an ambush in Afghanistan in 2007.

Kyle White, who retired from the Army in 2011, became the seventh living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honour for service in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

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US President Barack Obama (centre) applauds former Army sergeant Kyle J. White (left) after presenting him the Medal of Honour during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington on May 13, 2014. Picture: Kevin Lamarque

White was part of a squad of American troops on a narrow, mountainous path in Nuristan province in Afghanistan that came under deadly enemy fire from an ambush on November 9, 2007.

White, wounded by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade, sprinted through gunfire to apply a tourniquet to the wound of a fellow soldier, helped another soldier who ultimately died, and secured a working radio to call in air strikes to take out enemy positions and arrange a rescue for the survivors.

“Kyle could feel the pressure of the rounds going by him, but somehow, miraculously, they never hit him, not once,” Obama said in presenting the award in a White House East Room ceremony.

Six Americans died in the attack and all the survivors suffered wounds.

White is now an investment analyst at a bank in Charlotte, North Carolina. - Reuters

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