Caddo man watches fellow soldier receive "Medal Of Honor"

By: Ethan Hutchins Email
By: Ethan Hutchins Email

CADDO,OK -- 6 years after helping to save his fellow soldier, a Bryan County man watches his friend receive the Medal of Honor for his heroic deeds.

"Standing there I thought of these incredible men, those present here today, and especially our brothers who fell," said Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts.

Monday, Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts was awarded the Medal Of Honor by President Obama for his heroic actions during the "Battle of Wanut," a battle in which 9 Americans lost their lives.

"Valor was everywhere that day, and the real heroes are the 9 men who made the ultimate sacrifice so the rest of us could return home," said Pitts.

On July 13th, 2008, 200 Al-Qaeda forces attacked a U.S. Vehicle Patrol base in the Wanut Village in Afghanistan.

Troops were stationed there as part of Operation Enduring Freedom Eight, conducting counter-insurgency operations in the Kunar and Southern Nuristan Provinces, to build the Afghan national security capability.

During the battle, 48 Americans and 24 Afghan Troops manned the area near Camp Blessing and were able to kill 21 Taliban fighters.

Pitts was alone at an observation post for two hours fending off gunfire, even though he'd been wounded all over his body, by shrapnel.

Caddo native, Thieman Watkins flew an apache helicopter during the battle and helped retreive Pitts after it was over.

Monday, Watkins was in Washington D.C. as his friend Pitts received his medal.

"It was a pretty awesome thing to hear from his perspective, the difference that we made and that everybody made," said Watkins.

Watkins attended Caddo High School and went straight into the Army.

His neighbors Andrew and Jenna Huggins remember Theiman as a tough young man.

"You'd have to be very fearful to be in that position, but I can just really see Thieman doing something like that," said Jenna Huggins.

Watkins says following the battle in 2008, he and Pitts became good friends and says Pitts has stated that the "Medal" is for all the men who fought that day.

"This was about everyone who was involved that day, and it was a pretty awesome event," said Watkins.


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