ryan pitts

U.S. Army


Medal of Honor recipient Ryan Pitts is delivering the University of New Hampshire commencement address on May 16.

Pitts is a former Army staff sergeant who fought off enemy fighters during one of the bloodiest battles of the Afghanistan war, despite his own critical injuries. He is the ninth living recipient of the award; President Barack Obama bestowed the honor last year.

Army Sgt. Ryan Pitts will be the ninth living veteran to receive the nation's highest award for valor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan, when President Obama presents him with the Medal of Honor later today.

As NPR's Tom Bowman reports, Pitts is credited with holding off a brutal Taliban attack back in 2008. Tom filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Soldiers from Chosen Company were setting up an outpost in the rugged hills near the Pakistan border. Suddenly they came under attack by more than a hundred Taliban fighters.

U.S. Army

Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts of Nashua will be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House today.

Pitts will be ninth living service member to receive the nation’s highest military honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Nine soldiers died and Pitts was among 27 wounded in July of 2008 in the Battle of Wanat, when hundreds of insurgents attacked an Army outpost in Afghanistan.

Despite serious injuries from shrapnel, Pitts continued to hold off enemy fighters, hurling grenades and manning a machine gun.