Obama awards Afghanistan veteran the Medal of Honor

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“Clint gathered up his guys and they began to fight their way back — storming one building and then another, pushing the enemy back, having to actually shoot up at the enemy in the mountains above. By now, most of the camp was on fire,” the president retold.

Romesha then charged through a 100-meter run of enemy fire to reach the bodies of his fallen comrades.

“In a battle that raged all day, that brand of selflessness was displayed again, and again, and again,” Obama said.

In the aftermath of the attack, a Pentagon study found the outpost had little strategic value and was ordered to be evacuated. Obama said that if there was a lesson to be learned from the events of that day, it was “that our troops should not ever be put in a position where they have to defend the indefensible.”

“That's what these soldiers did for each other in sacrifice driven by pure love,” Obama said.

The Medal of Honor is "awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguished themselves conspicuously by gallantry above and beyond the call of duty," according to the White House. The high honor is only given to service members who display "great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life."

The honor was first awarded in 1863, during the American Civil War. The last recipient was a posthumous award to Army Spc. Leslie H. Sabo Jr. for his actions after his platoon was ambushed during the Vietnam war.

Romesha will join first lady Michelle Obama Tuesday night at the State of the Union address.