You can watch the ceremony live - click here for information. (not sure if the link will be through the Army.mil or the Whitehouse.gov site(s))
(Left to right) Sgt. Matthew Gobble, Sgt. Ryan Pitts, then-Sgt. Adam Delaney, Sgt. Dylan Meyer, Sgt. Brian Hissong, Sgt. Mike Santiago and Sgt. Israel Garcia, with 2nd Platoon, Chosen Company, pause for a photo before going out on patrol, at Forward Operating Base Blessing, Nangalam, Afghanistan, spring/summer 2007.
Stars and Stripes Report on the battle: Normal Humans Wouldn't Do That
Photo Credit: Courtesy photo. Sgt. Ryan Pitts (left) and Sgt. Israel Garcia patrol the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Garcia was among the nine Soldiers killed in the battle in Wanat, July 13, 2008.
During the Battle of Wanat, nine Americans were killed in action:
– Jonathan P. Brostrom, 24, of Aiea, Hawaii
– Israel Garcia, 24, of Long Beach, California
– Jonathan R. Ayers, 24, of Snellville, Georgia
– Jason M. Bogar, 25, of Seattle, Washington
– Jason D. Hovater, 24, of Clinton, Tennessee
– Matthew B. Phillips, 27, of Jasper, Georgia
– Pruitt A. Rainey, 22, of Haw River, North Carolina
– Gunnar W. Zwilling, 20, of Florissant, Missouri
– Sergio S. Abad, 21, of Morganfield, Kentucky
More about Wanat and the Chosen's fight at Army.mil here.
I believe that Evan Pertile will be in attendance at the ceremony (pictured above from The Burn Pit). SSG Ryan Pitts visited Evan while he was at St. Jude's recovering. In case you are not familiar with Evan, here is the link to the many stories about Evan who is just one of the many that Ryan Pitts has helped.
Photo Credit: Lisa Ferdinando, ARNEWS. In his New Hampshire home, May 3, 2014, Ryan Pitts holds the KIA bracelet he was wearing the time of the attack in Wanat, Afghanistan. The bracelet honors Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Kahler, platoon sergeant of 2nd platoon who was died Jan. 26, 2008, after being shot by an Afghan guard in Waygul, Afghanistan. The bracelet is taped over another bracelet (not visible) the commemorates the fallen of 1st Platoon, Chosen Company, who were killed Nov. 9, 2007, in an ambush. Commemorated on the second bracelet are: Capt. Matthew Ferrara, Spc. Joseph Lancour, Cpl. Lester Roque, Cpl. Sean Langevin and Sgt. Jeffrey Mersman. This bracelet prevented shrapnel from penetrating Pitts' wrist.
Last, Pitts was on the inaugural Soldiers' Angels Heroes & Horses group where our pal Mothax got to really know him.
While all of the M.O.H. awardees are amazing men, Ryan Pitts is one of the best men that we know. Today is good day!