Congressional Medal of Honor recipient visits Southeast Kansas - KOAM TV 7

Congressional Medal of Honor recipient visits Southeast Kansas


A Congressional Medal of Honor recipient visited Pittsburg State to speak to students on Thursday.

A ceremony recognized the heroism of Field Safety Specialist Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha.

"It's great to be awarded something like this, but to know I'm just carrying it, I'm just the caretaker for it for the solider's that can't," says Sgt. Romesha, one of only 80 living recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

President Barack Obama presented him with the award in February for his heroic actions in October 2009.

"Our outpost came under attack by approximately 300 Taliban fighters, we sat in the bottom of the valley, they had the high ground around us," says Sgt. Romesha.

Isolated with friendly fire miles away, Romesha helped his team hold off the enemy and launch counter fire of their own.

Now, back on U.S. soil, Romesha has gone from the military to safety field for the oil industry.  He says it was a pretty easy transition.

"To recognize hazardous observations, as well as following and mentoring for standard operating procedures, I mean as an NCO that is exactly what we did in the Army, and transferring in the safety department, that's exactly what you are doing there," says Romesha.

Romesha received a square in the Pittsburg State University's Veterans Memorial.  But the main reason for the visit is to speak with students in the new Environmental and Safety Management program at Pittsburg State.

That's something their professor hopes hits home.

"To protect the employees that they serve, it requires tenacity and it requires honestly, and it requires that leadership," says Pat Flynn, a professor for the PSU School of Construction.

Students we spoke with say they were honored for the opportunity to meet with an American hero, especially someone with a background in their future career.

"It's a one in a million opportunity because most generally you don't find a living recipient so the opportunity came up and a lot of people were very excited," says Shuchota Vandagriff, a PSU student.

Despite the honor and national recognition, Romesha says at the end of the day he is just regular old Clint, and he hopes he can show PSU students how to meet the challenges and opportunities that await them head on.

In addition to being honored at the PSU Veterans Memorial and speaking with the safety management students, Romesha will also be a guest at the Gorilla Battalion Spring Awards Ceremony on Friday night.

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