WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama awarded a Charlotte resident and a former active duty Army sergeant with the Medal of Honor Tuesday.
Sgt. Kyle White was recognized for his courageous actions while serving as a Platon Radio Telephone Operator assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, in 2007.
White heroically saved his fellow soldiers, while under attack in Afghanistan.
“It is the worst day of my life. It’s something I think about it multiple times a day," White said. “It's just something burned into your brain. You never forget.”
White, 27, said he remembers Nov. 9, 2007, like it was yesterday. That was the day his platoon was in Afghanistan. That was the day six Americans lost their lives. That was the day his actions earned him the Medal of Honor.
White said this is one of the first times he’s publicly shared memories of that day. It has been difficult for him to share this story but he's glad he's finally doing it.
IMAGES: Sgt. Kyle White
“I feel that this opportunity to get those names who gave their lives -- give them a chance for their names to be heard and their voices to be heard because I'm still here and they're not.” White explains.
Despite being injured in the attack himself, he ran through enemy fire -- to rescue his fellow soldiers.
Today, he said, whenever he needs a push, he looks down at a bracelet he never takes off.
It’s a gift from Spc. Kain Schilling, a man who he rescued that day.
“He had this made and he has the same one. We never take it off," White said.
On it are the names of those who died: Cpt. Matthew Ferrara, Sgt. Phillip Bocks USMC, Sgt. Jeffery Mersman, Cpl. Lester Roque, Cpl. Sean Langevin and Spc. Joseph Lancour.
White will be the seventh living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.
When asked about meeting the Commader in Chief, White said, "I hope I can muster up better words than I did on our phone call. I'm sure it'll be a memorable experience, but it'll be bittersweet as well."
"This is just one story of sacrifice. But sacrifice happens every day, across all branches of military," he said.
The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry above and beyond the call of duty while:
He and his family will join the president at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service.
White lives in Charlotte where he works as an investment analyst.
Follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #KyleWhiteHonor. Follow Kyla Campbell on Twitter also for updates: @KylaCampbellDC.
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