An amazing act of heroism by a Charlotte man has earned him one of the highest honors in the land.
Former Army Sgt. Kyle White says he doesn t consider himself a hero for helping fellow soldiers, but next month he will become the seventh living recipient of the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Governor McCrory met with White on Wednesday.
Sgt. White is a true American hero and we are forever indebted for his service to our nation, said Governor McCrory. It was an honor to meet Kyle today in Charlotte, and I look forward to building a lasting relationship with him as we continue North Carolina s tradition of supporting our military and the men and women who serve in our armed forces.
White is from Seattle, Wash., but graduated from UNC Charlotte. He lives in Charlotte and is an investment analyst with the Royal Bank of Canada.
The ambush on White's platoon happened in the mountains of Afghanistan on Nov. 9, 2007, shortly after someone took a picture of him walking along a trail.
White calls it the worst day of his life.
Bullets flew everywhere. A grenade and mortar round gave White two concussions.
I remember seeing these red hot chunks of metal screaming past my head, White said.
Wounded, with shrapnel in his face and now separated from most of his platoon, White saw Spc. Kain Schilling shot in the arm and bleeding profusely. He applied a tourniquet.
White then saw Sgt. Phillip Bocks badly wounded about 30 feet away from him.
Bocks couldn't move. White knew running toward him meant he was a moving target.
He made peace the very real possibility he could be taking his last steps.
(It) kind of made everything easier to do, you know, if you didn't have that fear in the back of your head of hey, I'm going to die. The way I did it was I just accepted it.
Then he ran several times back and forth between wounded soldiers.
The close calls, those days are just something I always think about. Just so many enemy rounds are coming just within inches of you.
Schilling took another bullet, this time to the leg. White applied another tourniquet.
He also radioed for help and marked a landing zone.
Six Americans died that day. But White's actions saved a soldier's life and led to the successful evacuation of all wounded and fallen soldiers.
That's why he will wear the Medal of Honor.
Hero is not something I like to think of myself as. Heroes to me are the ones that are with us that day who gave their lives in defense of this country.
White's Medal of Honor ceremony is May 13 in Washington, D.C.
He s not sure what he will say to President Obama, but plans to enjoy the experience.
Click here to read the whole harrowing account of the Bella Ambush, the event for which Sergeant White's actions will be honored.