Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Swenson is the first officer, and just the sixth living recipient, to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Swenson is being recognized "for his conspicuous gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty" during the Battle of Ganjgal Valley in Afghanistan on September 8, 2009, according to an Army news release:
With complete disregard for his own safety, Swenson voluntarily led a team into the kill zone, exposing himself to enemy fire on three occasions to recover the wounded and search for missing team members.
Retired Marine Corps Cpl. Dakota Meyer also received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Battle of Ganjgal Valley. Meyer's account of his own actions during battle are now being questioned by McClatchy news service. Today McClatchy posted videos shot by Army medevac helicopter crewmen which directly contradict Meyer's retelling of the battle in his memoir.
When contacted by McClatchy, Swenson said:
“Those videos allowed me to relive the reality of that battlefield: what I saw, what other people saw, where people were, the valley, the terraces, the trees, the friendlies (Afghan and U.S. forces)"...
“It shows the truth of that battle, a truth I never expected to see again.”