William Swenson Active Duty: Medal of Honor Recipient Returns to Army

Image: William Swenson Active Duty: Medal of Honor Recipient Returns to Army

Thursday, 10 Apr 2014 01:16 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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The U.S. Army confirmed Wednesday that Medal of Honor recipient Capt. William Swenson has returned to active duty and is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

Swenson received the Medal of Honor at the White House in October for his actions during a deadly firefight in Afghanistan in 2009. The captain reportedly left the Army in 2011 but asked to return to active duty around the time of the ceremony six months ago.

According to The Army Times, Swenson was awarded the medal for braving enemy fire during a militant ambush to help U.S. forces get out of a kill zone and also for helping to find and recover the bodies of four military advisers who died in the fight.

His Medal of Honor ceremony hit a lengthy delay, though, when the Army lost his nomination paperwork, The Times noted.

Swenson was the second service member to receive the Medal of Honor for the battle at Ganjgal, Afghanistan, according to The Washington Post. Former Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer was awarded the medal in 2011.

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"It does not really belong to me," Swenson told The Post of his decoration. "It belongs to that event and the people I stood with."

Swenson is the third Medal of Honor recipient on active duty, The Times noted. Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry and Staff Sgt. Ty Carter are also stationed with Swenson at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash.

According to The Post, Swenson reportedly criticized the Army after the battle at Ganjgal, saying that it did not provide enough air and artillery support during the fight. Some suggested that the Army then intentionally lost his Medal of Honor nomination paperwork as a result of the public criticism.

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