You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

N.H. veteran Ryan Pitts receives Medal of Honor

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama bestowed the Medal of Honor on Monday on a former Army staff sergeant who fought off enemy fighters during one of the bloodiest battles of the Afghanistan war.

Ryan M. Pitts is the ninth living recipient of the nation’s highest decoration for battlefield valor for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Continue reading below

Obama says Pitts displays ‘‘the humility and loyalty’’ that define America’s men and women in uniform. Obama noted that the 28-year-old Pitts has said his honor belongs to everyone who was with him during the July 13, 2008 attack in Wanat, Afghanistan.

Obama described how Pitts defended an observation post after the eight other soldiers providing security alongside him were killed in a well-organized attack by about 200 insurgents. Obama said Pitts was bleeding, hit by shrapnel in his arms and legs and sure he would die, as he lobbed grenades and pulled himself to his knees to man a machine gun against approaching insurgents.

‘‘That little post was on the verge of falling, giving the enemy a perch to devastate the base below,’’ Obama said in a White House ceremony. ‘‘Against that onslaught, one American held the line.’’

Continue reading it below

He called in for air support that helped repel the attack and prevented the enemy from taking his fellow soldiers who had been killed.

Obama honored each of those killed in battle with Pitts by name, and asked their families to rise and be recognized, including two of their children who have grown up without a parent. He also noted it was the second wedding anniversary for Pitts and his wife, who have a 1-year-old son.

‘‘It’s going to be tough topping this one, as anniversaries go,’’ Obama joked. But he advised Pitts, ‘‘You should try. Don’t rest on your laurels after just two years.’’

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.