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Obama Awards Medal of Honor to Former Army Captain

  • VOA News

President Barack Obama bestows the Medal of Honor to Florent Groberg during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 12, 2015.

President Barack Obama bestows the Medal of Honor to Florent Groberg during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 12, 2015.

U.S. President Barack Obama has given the Medal of Honor to an Army captain who tackled a suicide bomber as he was about to detonate himself in Afghanistan in 2012, saving his own life and that of many of his comrades.

Obama hung the medal around the neck of retired Captain Florent Groberg Thursday at a White House ceremony, saying that the officer "had the instinct and courage to do what was needed."

Four people - three military personnel and a foreign service officer - were still killed in the attack and Groberg sustained a leg injury that was so severe that he has needed 33 surgeries to save it.

Obama said that Groberg noticed a suspicious figure approach a security detail he was part of "when he did something extraordinary. He grabbed the bomber by his vest and kept pushing him away."

Watch video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke:

​The bomb still detonated, but Groberg is credited with saving the lives of many others in the immediate vicinity of the attack.

The 32-year-old Groberg spent three years recovering from his wounds at an Army hospital and is now medically retired from the armed forces.

Groberg is the 10th living service member honored for his actions in the U.S. conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Medal of Honor is the country's highest award for battlefield bravery.

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