Local woman to attend MoH ceremony
January 30, 2013
On Monday, February 11, President Barak Obama
will confer the nation's highest award for
bravery, the Medal of Honor, upon Clinton
Romesha for his actions in combat at Outpost
Keating October 3, 2009, in Afghanistan. Among
those attending the ceremony will be Jessica
Tingley, Bonners Ferry, whose brother, Joshua
Kirk, was one of eight American soldiers to die
in the Battle of Kamdesh.
Tingley with her brother, Joshua Kirk,
following his graduation from Army
Advanced Individual Training.
"Clint was kind enough to invite one family
member of each of the eight who were killed in
that battle," Jessica said. "Mom (Bernadette
Kirk-Bonner, also of Bonners Ferry) asked me to
attend in her place."
There were many heroes in that battle,
chronicled in the book "The Outpost: An Untold
Story of American Valor" by ABC News White House
Correspondent Jake Tapper, a fact Romesha is
quick to bring up any time talk turns to the
Medal of Honor. Having been honorably discharged
from the Army as a staff sergeant in April,
2011, to be able to spend more time with his
family, he, like most Medal recipients, he
downplays his heroism, and is uncomfortable at
being singled out.
The honor, he said, should go to all who served
with him on that long day, especially those who
In addition to writing the best-selling book,
Tapper, along with Vanessa Adelson, the mother
of Stephan Mace, who also gave his life in that
battle, are spearheading a tremendous
fundraising effort to bring her and the other
families of the others who died, to Washington,
D.C. for the ceremony, helping with air fare and
On that fateful day, Romesha was one of 53 U.S.
soldiers from the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry
Regiment, based in Fort Carson, Colorado, who,
alongside International Security Assistance
Force soldiers from the Afghan National Army and
the Latvian Army, manned the outpost a few miles
from the Pakistan border that day in 2009, a
total force of 90 men.
Sergeant Clinton Romesha
|Photo by Colby
More than 300 Taliban fighters, armed with
rocket propelled grenades, mortars, machine guns
and small arms and on high ground, launched a
coordinated attack from three sides on Outpost
Keating in the early morning hours. Soon
afterward, the 35 member of the Afghan National
Army abandoned their post, leaving just 55
fighters to face the onslaught.
In the first three hours, the Taliban fighters
breached the outpost and set it afire.
According to his citation, Romesha led the
firefight to retake the compound, regrouping the
remaining force and keeping them in the fight.
Forming a five-man fire team, he attacked and
took out one machine gun emplacement. Going at
another, he was wounded by shrapnel from an RPG
round, but he continued fighting, rescuing three
wounded soldiers and recovering the bodies of
those who had fallen and taking out several more
Taliban positions before the battle ended 12
hours after it began.
It was one of the deadliest attacks on U.S.
forces during the war so far; eight men killed,
most wounded. Nine men received Silver Stars,
the Army's second highest award for valor.
“What I got injured with wasn’t nothing,"
Romesha said later. "I have buddies who lost
their eyesight, who lost limbs. For that, I
would rather give them all the credit they
deserve for the sacrifices they made. For me, it
was nothing. I got a little peppered.”
In addition to the Medal of Honor ceremony at
the White House, Jessica will also attend a
formal reception at the Pentagon following the
presentation. On Saturday evening, she'll attend
a 3-61st Cavalry reunion party hosted by Tapper,
and on Sunday morning, she'll join a group
visiting the resting place of Stephan Mace at
Arlington National Cemetery.
Those who'd like to help can send donations or
cards and letters of support to Vanessa Adelson,
392 Hughs Road, Charles Town, WV 25414, or
donate online at
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