President Biden presents Medal of Honor to three soldiers

Two fallen soldiers and one currently serving the U.S Army were selected for the rare military honor.
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 5:50 PM CST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Three Army soldiers are now recipients of the nation’s highest and most prestigious military honor.

Thursday, President Joe Biden presented the Medal of Honor to two soldiers who died while saving others, and to another soldier who is still serving the nation.

President Biden said during the ceremony, “While today we honor three outstanding soldiers whose actions embody the highest ideals of selfless service, we also remember the high price our military members and their families are willing to pay on behalf of our nation.”

Master Sergeant Earl Plumlee accepted the Medal of Honor from President Biden.

While in Afghanistan in 2013, an enemy attack on a base blew a sixty-foot hole in the perimeter wall. The White House says Plumlee and others rushed to the explosion and encountered ten attacking soldiers who were wearing suicide vests. Plumlee narrowly avoided blasts from the vests and a grenade as he returned fire and helped pull a fellow wounded soldier to safety.

Plumlee said, “I absolutely thought that I was going to die that day.”

Plumlee received the Medal of Honor alongside two soldiers who were honored posthumously, Army Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe and Army Sergeant First Class Christopher Celiz.

Plumlee said, “The only possible way I could fathom, though, to heap a little more prestige on the on the Medal of Honor is to receive it in the shadow of these two men. And, you know, I don’t belabor the point just so humbling when you read both their narratives and then you’re going to be a part of their story. It’s it’s an astounding weight to carry.”

On Oct. 17, 2005, the White House says Army Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe pulled six U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter from a burning vehicle. Bullets rained down from hostile forces, and Cashe’s fuel-soaked uniform caught on fire as he was pulling people to safety. Cashe made sure those he saved received medical care first despite being badly burned — injuries that later cost him his life.

Cashe’s sister, Kasinal Cashe White, said, “[H]is memory will always be with me. I just want his memory to be with everybody else.”

In July 2018, the White House says Sergeant First Class Christopher Celiz was deployed in Afghanistan where his team was attacked. A helicopter was called in to airlift somebody who was badly wounded. Hostile forces then attacked the helicopter, so Celiz used his body as a human shield to protect the evacuation crew… then told the pilot to take off without him as returned fire. Celiz was shot by the hostile forces as the helicopter took off, but his actions are credited with saving the wounded and preventing additional casualties.

Celiz’s widow, Katie Celiz, said, “The story about Chris and how he decided to wave off the helicopter, I wasn’t surprised that he would choose to do that. Still a little angry at him for deciding to do that, but I understood why he felt the need to do it. Chris really believed that. Being there for his men, protecting his men was everything Chris believed that doing good was number one.”

The Medal of Honor given to an exclusive group with just over 35-hundred soldiers receiving it in the nation’s history.

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