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TJ Jerke, Forum News Service, Published February 21 2013

Medal of Honor recipient Romesha welcomed home by ND dignitaries

BISMARCK – More than 150 lawmakers, veterans and state leaders said “welcome home” Thursday morning to the country’s recent Medal of Honor recipient.

Former U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha, 31, of Minot, received the nation’s highest military honor from President Barack Obama on Feb. 11. Romesha was awarded the medal for his actions in 2009 while serving as a section leader during combat operations against an armed enemy in Afghanistan.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple said he tried to come up with the best term to describe Romesha “father, friend, soldier, patriot, hero, American and one we’re particularly proud of, North Dakotan.”

“We salute you as an American hero and favorite son of North Dakota,” Dalrymple said.

Dalrymple gave Romesha a state flag that has flown over the Capitol and a bottle of Dr. Pepper – which Dalrymple and Romesha are both fond of. While in the middle of taking fire from enemies, Romesha was quoted as wishing for a cigarette and a Dr. Pepper.

Congressman Kevin Cramer added, “humility,” as a term that impressed him the most.

Cramer said he has been impressed how Romesha, “Goes from an oil field worker to international celebrity deflecting all of the recognition.”

Sen. John Hoeven read a portion of the speech he made on the U.S. Senate floor, which was put into Congressional record.

“His actions were a true example of courage and selfless sacrifice,” Hoeven said.

Romesha, with his wife and three children in the audience, said he was thankful to the state leaders, crowd and many veterans in attendance.

“With the last two weeks of travel and adventure, it’s great to be back in North Dakota,” Romesha said.