Army Captain William Swenson to receive long-awaited Medal of Honor
Former Army Capt. William Swenson will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions during the 2009 Battle of Ganjgal Valley, the White House announced Monday.
Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2011 for his actions in the same battle.
Swenson was serving as an embedded trainer and mentor to Afghan border police when U.S. and Afghan troops walked into an ambush in Kunar province, Afghanistan on Sept. 8, 2009. The battle lasted six hours and Swensen went back into gunfire again and again to recover the wounded and the dead, while his repeated calls for support went unanswered.
This one hasn't been without HUGE controversy, since Swenson (rightfully) was upset about the lack of support he got from the TOC:
The team pleaded for fire support, a military investigation later found, but was denied because officers at Joyce's tactical operations center underestimated how bad the ambush was and were concerned about killing civilians or U.S. service members with artillery rounds. After the Marine team stopped responding to their radio, other U.S. forces reported them missing and began a frantic search to find them, uncertain whether they had been killed.
Swenson and other U.S. forces were farther from the village, but still faced a torrent of enemy fire. He began requesting fire support shortly after the shooting started, the investigation found, but after a few early artillery shells arrived, he and other troops on the ground were denied additional rounds.
Pinned down on a hillside with several wounded U.S. forces, Swenson and Fabayo defended the group from advancing Taliban fighters, who dressed in Afghan National Army uniforms and helmets, according to military documents outlining the battle. Swenson killed at least two of them with a grenade at close range, while Fabayo engaged them with his M4 carbine.
You should read that entire Army Times article if you get a chance, it will anger you beyond belief.
Just how bad was it? Well, watch this video and you be the judge. And remember, this was the Army's version, Swenson was so angry he left the service.
I'm hoping to attend the ceremony if possible, and get an interview with Captain Swenson.