(Stars and Stripes) — Looking up at the high walls of the snow-covered Afghan valley, Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Robert Miller, right, knew that his patrol might be walking directly into an ambush.
That’s why he insisted on being up front, his teammates said.
It’s also what cost him his life.
On Jan. 25, 2008, Miller’s patrol of 22 U.S. and Afghan soldiers was ambushed outside of Gowardesh by a force of 120 enemy fighters. Troops there said Miller bore the brunt of the attack, then drew even more fire in an effort to help his men drop back to safety.
Even after being shot through both sides of his chest, he continued to return fire and toss grenades at the enemy. “He definitely saved lives that day,” said Staff Sgt. Nick McGarry, a close friend who served alongside Miller in the Special Forces for three years.
Today, the White House will posthumously honor Miller for his heroism by presenting his family with the Medal of Honor, only the third service member to be awarded the honor for actions in Afghanistan.