The lead-off story today is one of valor. Sgt. Kyle J. White, 27, a Seattle native who now lives in Charlotte, will receive the Medal of Honor today for saving his fellow soldiers after a 2007 ambush in Afghanistan.
Stars and Stripes, Published: April 15, 2014
Staff Sgt. Conrad Begaye awards Spc. Kyle White the Combat Infantryman Badge during a ceremony in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, Nov. 6, 2007.
WASHINGTON — Former Army Sgt. Kyle J. White will be awarded the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony on May 13, 2014, the White House announced late Tuesday afternoon.
White, 27, will receive the nation’s highest military award for his actions during a dismounted movement in mountainous terrain in Aranas, Afghanistan, on Nov. 9, 2007.
White was serving as a Platoon Radio Telephone Operator assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, when his team of U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers were set up and ambushed by a much larger and more heavily armed Taliban force after a meeting with Afghan villagers.
“There was one shot, you know, down into the valley, and then it was two shots, and then it was full-automatic fire and RPGs … it was coming from multiple directions,” White later recalled, according to an Army news release.
White was knocked unconscious by a rocket-propelled grenade that landed near him. When he woke up, 10 of the 14-man American element and the ANA soldiers were gone. To avoid the enemy fire, they had been forced to slide 150 feet down the side of a rocky cliff.
White noticed that his teammate, Spc. Kain Schilling, had been shot in the arm. After White and Schilling found cover under a tree, White put a tourniquet on Schilling and stopped the bleeding. Then White saw Marine Sgt. Phillip Bocks lying out in the open, badly wounded.
White sprinted 30 feet across open ground under a hail of bullets to reach Bocks. White made four runs out in to the open to drag Bocks out of the line of fire. He succeeded, but Bocks eventually succumbed to his wounds. Soon afterward, Schilling got hit in the leg by small-arms fire. White again saved his life, using his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.
Then White noticed his platoon leader, 1st Lt. Matthew C. Ferrara, lying face-down on the trail, motionless. White again exposed himself to fire and crawled to Ferrara’s position. After he realized Ferrara was already dead, White returned to Schilling’s side and began using his radio, until an enemy round blew the hand-mic out of his hand and disabled the radio. White grabbed Bocks’ radio and used it to bring in mortars, artillery, air strikes and helicopter gun runs to keep the enemy at bay. Friendly fire gave him his second concussion of the day when a mortar round landed too close and knocked him off his feet.
After nightfall, White marked the landing zone and assisted the flight medic in hoisting the wounded Americans and Afghans into the helicopter. White would not allow himself to be evacuated until everyone else was in a position to leave.
Six American servicemembers died in the battle.
Well done, Sgt Kyle.
Today is Primary Day in at least two states, Nebraska and West Virginia. Both elections may foretell the path of the GOP come November.
The GOP establishment touted the election of North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, who won the U.S. Senate primary against his Tea Party opponent, as a major achievement. I’m not so sure. Tillis’ voting record is as conservative as that of his Tea Party opponent. Yes, he had the endorsement of the establishment but that doesn’t guarantee allegiance to Mitch McConnell.
The Nebraska GOP Primary is between Ben Sasse, a former Bush administration health policy wonk who helped turn around a struggling Nebraska college, and former state Treasurer Shane Osborn, who has been supported by Karl Rove and McConnell’s Republican National Senate committee (RNSC). Sasse has received the endorsement of Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee plus support from The Heritage Foundation and Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservative Fund (SCF).
According to that latest polling, Sasse is favored to win. That trend apparently has motivated Osborn to use Karl Rove’s favorite tactic—mud-slinging and negative ads.
The other potentially significant primary today is in West Virginia where seven-term Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is expected to easily win the Republican primary for the US Senate. Capito is widely favored to win the seat currently held by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV. Current democrat Senator Joe Manchin has praised Capito in the race. Manchin is one of several democrats being courted by ‘Pubs to switch parties.
On the Missouri side, state ‘Pub Senate leaders have reached a deal with democrats to end their filibuster on the 72-hour wait for an abortion. The deal? It was for the dems to end their filibuster and allow the Early Voting bill to pass. In return Ron Richard, RINO-Joplin, would not bring the Paycheck Protection bill and the Voter Photo-ID to the floor.
“What was the grand bargain between Republican Senate Majority Floor Leader Ron Richard and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus? … Democrats agreed to end their filibuster of the 72-hour waiting period for abortion and to not block the Republicans’ early voting proposal, while Republicans agreed to not bring up ‘Paycheck Protection’ and a ballot question that would allow the legislature to require voters to present photo identification at the polls. The abortion legislation was sent back to the House by a 22-9 vote, where it was originally supported with support from 113 lawmakers. … The Republican early voting plan, which also passed, would ask the voters to allow six early days for voting. All of the early voting days would be on weekdays during business hours, which Democrats have broadly opposed.” — PoliticMO Newsletter, May 13, 2014.
Yes, folks, Ron Richard has betrayed us again, the second time within a year. I can’t understand why our Jeff City republican leadership allows this traitor to the Republican party to continue to hold his post in the Senate.