Former Drum Soldier Receives Medal Of Honor
President Barack Obama says a former Fort Drum soldier who survived one of the Afghan war's deadliest firefights is a reminder that Americans look out for one another even when it is difficult.
Obama commented at a White House ceremony Tuesday before placing America's highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, around William Swenson's neck.
"Moments like this, Americans like Will remind us of what our country can be at its best," said Obama.
Swenson was recognized for bravery in battle against Taliban insurgents in the Ganjgal valley near the Pakistan border in 2009.
The fight claimed five Americans, 10 Afghan army troops and an interpreter.
Swenson was a trainer and mentor embedded with the Afghan National Security Forces in Afghanistan's Kunar Province.
He risked his life to recover bodies and help save fellow troops.
Swenson retired from the military in February 2011.He has a Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal and lives in Seattle. The Washington Post details the difficulties Swenson faced following the battle for which he is being honored and the struggles he had with military brass. The Department of Defense has a website with a profile of Swenson, details of the battle based on Swenson's accounts, and a link for viewing the ceremony live. CBS's David Martin did a profile of Swenson that aired on the CBS Evening News last month. See our earlier story.