President Biden on Thursday acknowledged three Military troopers who risked their lives in fight, two of whom have been killed in motion, by awarding them the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest navy ornament.
All three have been credited with placing themselves at risk as they protected others and sought to repel enemy assaults. The troopers’ heroics stretched over a number of years, a reminder of how lengthy People have been engaged in fight operations within the Center East.
“Right now we honor three excellent troopers, whose actions embody the best beliefs of selfless service,” Biden stated throughout a White Home ceremony honoring the recipients. “We additionally keep in mind the excessive value that navy members and their households are prepared to pay on behalf of our nation.”
The White Home stated that then-Workers Sgt. Earl Plumlee earned the medal by way of his actions in August 2013 that adopted an enormous explosion that tore a 60-foot gap within the wall of his base in Afghanistan. As 10 insurgents poured by way of the wall, Plumlee and 5 different particular operations troopers hopped into two autos and raced to cease the attackers, encountering heavy hearth.
Plumlee used his physique to protect the motive force of his car, leapt out of it, drew a pistol and began firing on the insurgents, killing two of them. Within the ensuing gunfight, “with full disregard to his personal security,” Plumlee carried a mortally wounded soldier to security and helped manage a profitable counterattack, the White Home stated.
Earlier than placing the medal on Plumlee, now a grasp sergeant, within the East Room of the White Home, Biden hailed the soldier’s bravery. “Again and again bullets flew by, generally solely inches away. Again and again Workers Sgt. Plumlee closed with the enemy,” Biden stated. “This recognition has been too lengthy in coming, for you and your loved ones. Nobody will neglect the way you sprang into motion when the enemy attacked our base.”
Biden additionally introduced medals to the widows of the 2 troopers killed in motion.
Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe rescued a number of troopers in October 2005 from a Bradley combating car that burst into flames after it struck a roadside bomb within the Iraqi city of Duluiyah, the White Home stated. Regardless of struggling extreme burns, he refused to be evacuated by helicopter till different troopers have been flown to security. He died a number of weeks later from his wounds.
“No soldier was going to be left behind on his watch,” stated Biden.
Cashe, 35, grew up in Florida and enlisted within the Military in 1989. He deployed to Iraq the identical 12 months he was killed.
The White Home stated Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Celiz, 32, died in Afghanistan in 2018 after exposing himself to enemy hearth to succeed in an injured soldier and carry him to security. When a helicopter arrived to evacuate the wounded soldier, it got here underneath withering enemy hearth. To guard the workforce carrying the soldier and the helicopter crew, the White Home stated, Celiz stood between the insurgents and the chopper, performing as a human protect.
Because the helicopter lifted off, Celiz was shot and badly wounded. “Absolutely conscious of his personal damage, however understanding the peril to the plane from the extraordinary enemy machine gun hearth, Sgt. 1st Class Celiz motioned to the plane to depart reasonably than stay to load him,” the White Home stated. “His selfless actions saved the lifetime of the evacuated partnered power member and nearly definitely prevented additional casualties amongst different members of his workforce and the air crew.”
Celiz, who was born in South Carolina and enlisted within the Military in 2006, died later that day.
“Christopher Celiz was braveness made flesh,” Biden stated.