Seattle Soldier Gets Medal of Honor from Pres. and Wants to Re-up

By Lisa Brooks

A Seattle soldier received the nation’s highest military honor on Tuesday from President Obama. Army Captain William D. Swenson was awarded the Medal of Honor for repeatedly running into the line of fire during a 2009 battle in Afghanistan, to rescue fellow soldiers.

The President praised Capt. Swenson for his bravery and compassion. He said Swenson was clearly a leader in the battle that day.

President Barak Obama: “But like all great leaders, he was also a servant—to the men he commanded, to the more than a dozen Afghans and Americans, whose lives he saved, to the families of those who gave their last full measure of devotion, on that faraway field. As one of his fellow soldiers later said, Will did things that nobody else would ever do. And he did it for his guys and everybody on the ground, to get them out.”

Captain Swenson was an adviser embedded with the Afghan Border Police Mentor Team when they were ambushed near the Pakistani border. Part of his rescue that day was captured on the helmet cameras of a medical helicopter evacuation team. The video showed him loading a wounded soldier into the chopper and kissing him on the forehead before heading back to rescue more soldiers.

Since leaving the military in early 2011, Swenson has been unemployed. He recently requested to return to active duty, something extremely rare for a Medal of Honor recipient. An Army spokesman says his request is being reviewed.


Raw YouTube video of Swenson’s helicopter rescue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFWRGrOZkNc)

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