U.S. President Barack Obama has awarded the nation's highest military award, the Medal of Honor, to an Army veteran who fought off Taliban fighters in an intense day-long battle in Afghanistan.
Mr. Obama said the actions of then-Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha on that day in October 2009 saved the lives of Americans in the remote, 50-man outpost near the border with Pakistan.
The president said more than 300 Taliban fighters attacked the outpost, which was located in a valley.
"The attackers had the advantage -- the high ground, the mountains above -- and they were unleashing everything they had -- rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns, mortars, snipers taking aim. To those Americans down below, the fire was coming in from every single direction. They'd never seen anything like it."
He said Romesha, despite being wounded, led a counter-attack to hold the outpost, calling in air strikes and helping to recover fallen comrades. The president said some fighters entered the outpost.
Eight U.S. soldiers were killed in the attack. Twenty-two soldiers were wounded, including Romesha.
President Obama said Romesha and his team were outnumbered, outgunned and almost overrun. He said the outpost was later deemed tactically indefensible, and that American troops should never be asked "to defend the indefensible."
Romesha is the fourth living Medal of Honor recipient for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. He also had been deployed to Iraq.