Former Army sergeant, Seattle native to receive Medal of Honor

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor to former Army Sergeant Kyle J. White, who put his own life at risk in an hours-long effort to save fellow service members during a 2007 ambush in Afghanistan.

White, a 27-year-old Seattle native, will be the seventh living recipient of the nation’s highest military honor for actions in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He will receive the medal in a ceremony at the White House on May 13.

White and his team of 14 U.S. soldiers, along with Afghan National Army soldiers, were ambushed during a meeting with village elders in Aranas, Afghanistan, according to an Army account of the attack. The Army said the U.S. soldiers had been wary of heading to the village because local residents were suspected of collusion that resulted in a major attack on an American outpost months earlier.

White told the Army that the turnout for the village meeting was unusually large, as were the number of questions being asked. In the midst of the meeting, the group’s interpreter started receiving radio traffic in a language he didn’t understand and the platoon leader was advised to leave the area.

Before White and his fellow soldiers could depart, they were attacked by gunfire from multiple directions. White was knocked unconscious and when he came to, he realized that most of his fellow American soldiers and all of the Afghans traveling with them were gone, having slid 150 feet down a rocky cliff for cover.

According to the Army account, the only men left up top were White, platoon leader 1st Lt. Matthew C. Ferrara, Spc. Kain Schilling, Marine Sgt. Phillip A. Bocks and the group’s interpreter. White set about trying to assess the condition of his fellow soldiers, running and crawling through gunfire as he made his way toward them.

Ferrara was already dead and Bocks was badly wounded. White repeatedly exposed himself to gunfire as he made attempts to pull Bocks into a covered area. Though he tried to stop Bocks’ bleeding, the Marine later died.

Suffering from concussions himself, White also treated Schilling’s injuries, even tying his own belt around his fellow soldier’s leg when he ran out of tourniquets.

Of the unit’s radios, only Bocks’ was still working after the attack. White used it to call for help, which didn’t arrive until after nightfall. When a helicopter did arrive, White only allowed himself to be evacuated after the wounded were assisted.

Schilling survived the attack and told the Army that he plans to attend White’s Medal of Honor ceremony next month.

White retired from the Army in 2011. He now works as an investment analyst at a bank in Charlotte, N.C.

[—][—][—]

Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

More in Local News

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Edmonds police are searching for Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, in the homicide of his roommate. If you see him, call 911. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Officials to test sanity of suspect in Everett crime spree

He allegedly tried to rob and clobber a transit worker, then fled and struggled with police.

Train kills man who was trying to get off tracks in Monroe

The conductor said he attempted to stop after sighting the man, who’d been lying on the rails.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Most Read