On November 8, 2007, high in the rugged mountains of Eastern Afghanistan, 14 American soldiers walked into a deadly enemy ambush. The soldiers were with the 1st Platoon, Chosen Company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Six of the 14 were killed. Army Specialist Kyle White emerged a hero.
Six and a half years later, White vividly remembers every second of the battle.
“It just seemed like the entire valley erupted,” White told NBC News. “Bullets ricocheting off the rocks -- they never let up.”
Despite being wounded and temporarily knocked out cold by an enemy rocket-propelled grenade, White, with no regard for his own safety, repeatedly ran through heavy gunfire to attempt to rescue his fallen soldiers, including Specialist Kain Schilling.
“Kyle definitely save my life” said Schilling. “I can never repay him.”
Today at the White House, President Obama presented White with the nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor. But like so many before him, White doesn’t consider himself a hero.
“I was just doing my job,” he said. “The real heroes are those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their country.”
First published May 13 2014, 1:09 PM
Jim Miklaszewski is the chief Pentagon correspondent for NBC News. On 9/11, he was the first at the scene to report that the Pentagon had been attacked and has since led the network's coverage of the war in Afghanistan.
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Since joining NBC in 1985, Miklaszewski was a White House correspondent during the Clinton and Bush administrations, covering President Clinton's transition from Little Rock, his many trips abroad including Moscow and the Middle East and his reelection. He was also an NBC floor reporter at the Democratic and Republican conventions in 1996 and 2000.
In the Bush White House, Miklaszewski reported on the Gulf War with Iraq, summits with Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin and the Bush reelection campaign in 1992.
Miklaszewski has logged considerable foreign experience with battlefront coverage of wars in Lebanon, El Salvador and the Falkland Islands. He also covered the United States air raid on Libya, and the "tanker wars" in the Persian Gulf.