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Obama to Award Medal of Honor to Former Soldier

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2014 - President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor on July 21 to former Army Staff Sgt. Ryan M. Pitts for conspicuous gallantry in Afghanistan, White House officials announced today.

Pitts will receive the Medal of Honor at the White House for his courageous actions while serving as a forward observer with 2nd Platoon, Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, during combat operations at Vehicle Patrol Base Kahler, near Wanat Village in Afghanistan's Kunar province, on July 13, 2008.

He will be the ninth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Pitts separated from the Army on Oct. 27, 2009, from Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He lives in Nashua, New Hampshire, where he works in business development for the computer software industry.

He enlisted in the Army in August 2003 as a fire support specialist, primarily responsible for the intelligence activities of the Army's field artillery team. After completion of training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and follow-on parachutist training at the U.S. Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to Camp Ederle, Vicenza, Italy, as a radio operator with the 4th Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment and 173rd Airborne Brigade, where he deployed to Afghanistan.

His final assignment was with the 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment "The Rock," 173rd Airborne Brigade, as a forward observer, which included a second combat tour to Afghanistan.

His personal awards include the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device for valor, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal with bronze clasp and two loops, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 4, the NATO Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Valorous Unit Award, the Combat Action Badge, the Pathfinder Badge and the Parachutist Badge.

Pitts will be joined by his family at the White House ceremony, officials said.

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