Amanda Knox is a self-described “kid” and former Army Sgt. Kyle White is a man…and a hero
Army Sgt. Kyle White receives the Medal of Honor from President Obama May 13, 2014
Today in a moving ceremony, President Obama bestowed the highest medal of valor to former Army Sgt. Kyle White. White, now age 27, is the seventh living recipient of the award recognizing those who fought in the Afghan and Iraq wars. “I do not consider myself a hero,” White said. “To me, the real heroes are the ones I fought with that day.”
On November 8, 2007, Sgt. White, originally from Seattle, was 20 years-old and deployed to Afghanistan, where he found himself facing the ultimate challenge. Five soldiers and one Marine were killed that day during a deadly enemy ambush in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province. Click on the link to Kyle’s name above to read the full inspiring, harrowing account. He describes the beginning of the exchange. “The first shot came in like ‘a single pop.’ Then two pops, and then the whole valley lit up,” White recalled. “RPGs were coming from it seemed like everywhere.”
White, then a specialist with 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, is being honored for repeatedly running the gauntlet of enemy fire to get to the wounded and fallen. When the shooting stopped and night fell, White, who was barely 20 years old, cared for his wounded brother, called in steady radio reports, directed security and guided in close-air support until the medevac birds were able to come and evacuate the wounded and the dead.
“I dumped my first magazine, and when I went to reload it, I put the new magazine in, and nothing,” he said.
White was knocked unconscious by an incoming RPG. He woke up facedown on the trail.
This young man repeatedly risked open enemy fire to tend to the wounded and dying. Forward observer Spc. Kain Schilling was wounded in the shoulder. Says Schilling: “White dashed out to [wounded Marine Sgt. Phillip] Bocks, and you could see sparks all around Kyle,” Schilling continued “He glowed from the ricochets.”
Bocks had been shot at least twice, and White, using his body to shield Bocks from the enemy fire, tried to stop the bleeding as best he could.
“I worked on him until he was no longer with us,” White said.
Perugia, Italy, and Amanda Knox
Photo posted on Knox’s myspace page
In that same month of November, 2007, a tragedy was unfolding. Amanda Knox, then 20 years-old, was the same age as Kyle White, and she also hailed from Seattle. Two days prior to the Afghanistan assault on White’s platoon that claimed six lives, Knox and her Italian lover, Raffaele Sollecito, had been arrested for the murder of her British roommate, 21-year old Meredith Kercher.
Meredith was a University of Leeds student who had won a coveted scholarship to study in Perugia as an Erasmus scholar.
Extremely bright, serious-minded and quiet, Meredith was also known for her wit and a sense of fun that drew many friends into her orbit. Within the prior two weeks, Meredith had started a romantic relationship with Italian student Giacomo Silenzi who resided in the apartment below her and her three roommates, two Italian women in their mid-20′s and Amanda Knox.
After a mere two wonderful months in Perugia living her dream, it all ended on the night of November 1, 2007. Meredith Kercher arrived home sometime around 9:00 p.m. from a relaxing evening spent with her British friends. With her boyfriend and Italian roommates away for the holiday weekend, Meredith expected to be alone. Amanda was supposed to be working at Le Chic bar that night and spending the night at Raffaele’s. How could Meredith know that Knox was not needed at Le Chic that night, and within the following days, Amanda’s kind boss, Patrick Lumumba, would find himself tossed in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. And Meredith would not survive that very night. Her battered, bruised body was found on the cold tile floor of her bedroom. Covered in abrasions, bruises and various size pressure marks, Meredith had sustained two serious stab wounds to the neck. The final, mortal blow was inflicted by Amanda Knox according to Judge Alessandro Nencini. She was assisted in her attack on Meredith by two accomplices, lover Raffaele Sollecito, 23, and Rudy Guede, 20.
Following their conviction for Meredith’s murder in December 2009, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito continue to work through the lengthy Italian appeals process. Rudy Guede, tried separately at his request, serves out his prison sentence.
Free while appealing their convictions, Knox and Sollecito have given numerous media interviews and both have written memoirs for big chunks of money. In addition, Knox used a PR firm to “manage” her image from the start. The media was soon saturated with childhood photos of little Amanda on the soccer field, little Amanda at her birthday party, the wholesome private high school Amanda, highly intelligent scholar, and young, naive kid who made some youthful blunders on her way to adulthood. But therein lies the problem. Amanda Knox has never moved on to adulthood, nor has her former flame, although that could be changing.
It’s a veritable mantra. What do you expect, we were just kids! Even in their memoirs, Amanda and Raffaele have exploited the youth excuse to the max. On social media, the innocence supporters routinely promote the youth excuse, intimidating those who reject the two perpetrators’ litany of lies.
Consider this. Sometime before Meredith’s murder and before meeting his American lovergirl, knife-and-violent manga-comics aficionado Sollecito posted on his myspace page a selfie, totally enveloped in white gauze — or toilet paper — holding up a meat cleaver in one hand and a bottle of bleach in the other. Did Amanda herself exploit his twisted fantasies to lure him into her depraved payback scenario — the ultimate humiliation of Meredith?
Although both perpetrators freely posted these photos on social media [see above weapon-hugging pic of "My People Killed Your People" Knox from her myspace page], any re-postings, as I am now doing, invite the aggression of the online thugs with their “hater” and “guilter” assaults. Who are we to criticize kids for innocent mistakes, misguided humor and bad judgment? Well, not so fast there. I’ll let readers make up their own minds about the murder, but they must study the Amanda Knox trial evidence, and not rely on the word of the convicted.
Sollecito, 23 at the time of the murder, is now 30 years old and still spoiled, indulged, and leading the life of a jetsetting playboy, fiance-shopping among an international cast of female companions. That is, until his passport was confiscated after the Nencini appellate court upheld the original court’s guilty verdict on January 30th. Amanda Knox has explained that her initial attraction to Sollecito was his Harry Potter appeal. Wouldn’t a more suitable literary character for Raffaele be Peter Pan?
Throughout the initial trial both kids smirked and strutted and admittedly didn’t take the process seriously until the guilty verdict was announced in December 2009. Now, despite all indications that the Supreme Court will uphold Judge Nencini’s verdict and sentencing report, Amanda Knox told Chris Cuomo she believes the court will find her innocent. This is the extent of the alternate reality inhabited by child-woman Amanda Knox. Her Peter Pan is now distancing himself from her and may be taking the first small steps to adulthood and accountability. Which leads me to my point about maturity and accountability vs pathological immaturity and lack of accountability.
Can the Kids learn from a Real Man?
Here’s an excerpt of what Kyle White had to say after receiving the Medal of Honor for gallantry and bravery that day in November, 2007.
In a brief statement to reporters after Tuesday’s ceremony, White called the Medal of Honor “a symbol of the responsibility all soldiers knowingly face when they depart for distant lands in defense of the nation, a responsibility that locks us all in the bonds of brotherhood.”
As such, White couldn’t help but think about his brothers in arms.
“Without the team,” he said, “there could be no Medal of Honor. That is why I wear this medal for my team.”
Amanda Knox has an opportunity to humble herself and learn from this man of her generation, a man her age, from her home city and State. Although not many of us will be called to his level of heroism, we’d be well served to emulate his ability to make the right choices under fire, to never leave his team behind, to know the true meaning of friendship and accountability. His life is very different now, living in Charleston, SC, having acquired an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, settled into a job and an everyday, normal life. If Amanda Knox had prudently selected the fast-track trial that Guede opted for — giving up some rights in exchange for an expedited trial and some leniency in sentencing — she’d be that much closer to finishing up her sentence and exploring her own life choices. It’s too late for that. But first and foremost, she needs to come clean, set aside the lame excuses and heal her conscience and soul. We all need heroes to inspire us and give us strength during the tough times.
Learn from Kyle White, Amanda, and turn your life around.
Until next time,