Daily VideoMay 15, 2014
Obama awards Medal of Honor to Afghan war soldier who stood by his team under ambush
President Obama recently awarded former Army Sergeant Kyle White the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest honor for valor, for his role in a 2007 battle in Afghanistan.
In a ceremony in the White House East Room, the president recounted White’s gallantry after his platoon was ambushed in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province.
After leaving a meeting with Afghan village elders, White and the 13 members of his team were walking along a narrow path on a steep hill when they were bombarded with gunfire.
White was knocked unconscious by a grenade, and when he became conscious again, “Most of the unit had been forced to slide down the cliff to the valley below. But [White] saw a teammate — Specialist Kain Schilling — trying to treat his own shattered arm, using a tree as cover,” said President Obama. “[White] sprinted through enemy fire to Kain’s side and began applying a tourniquet — shielding Kain with his own body as gunfire shredded that tree.”
White also ducked bullets to get to his platoon leader, 1st Lieutenant Matthew Ferrara, and Marine Sergeant Phillip Bocks. Both men ultimately died of their wounds. And even after the shooting stopped, White kept going.
After the ceremony, White spoke outside the White House, saying, “Battles are not won by men. If that were true, the Taliban would have won on that trail in Afghanistan because they had every tactical advantage, including the numbers.
“Battles are won by spirit. And spirit is present in the relationships built from trust and sacrifice we share with one another in times of hardship, and, by that definition, cannot be possessed by one person.
“Without the team, there could be no Medal of Honor. That is why I wear this medal for my team.”
Warm up questions
- What are the 5 branches of the U.S. military?
- What do you know about the U.S. military and the war in Afghanistan?
- What is bravery? What are some ways that people demonstrate bravery?
- Is the Medal of Honor a good way to honor soldiers? Why or why not? What kind of emotions do you think former Army Sgt. Kyle White was feeling during the ceremony at the White House?
- The Medal of Honor can only awarded to a small fraction of our men and women in the armed forces, even though many probably deserve to be honored for their service to the country. What are some other ways that we can honor the brave men and women who are part of our military? What can you personally do?
Within the video, former Army Sgt. Kyle White and President Obama both spoke about the attack on the platoon, and Sgt. White’s actions. If you had to pick three characteristics to describe Sgt. White’s actions during the attack what would they be? Make sure to give evidence to support your claims. Then, think of three characteristics that make a great soldier (you may have some overlap from your first answer) and explain why they matter. Finally, very briefly give one example of how you can honor the men and women in the armed forces.
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
The Democratic National Convention began on Monday amid protests from supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders and calls for unity to back Hillary Clinton. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
While Clinton has topped the annual Gallup poll of “most admired woman” each of the last 14 years, a CBS poll last month showed nearly two-thirds of Americans say they don’t think she is honest or trustworthy. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Born and raised in Queens, New York, to a family of privilege, Donald Trump grew up in a 23-room house and was driven to private school by the family chauffeur. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump chose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice president, despite the two disagreeing on a number of political and social issues. Pence has served as governor of Indiana since 2012, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 12 years. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The 2016 presidential race has made teaching high school civics more difficult, particularly regarding some of the comments students have heard candidates make along the campaign trail. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld