U.S. Army captain to be awarded Medal of Honor

Sept. 16, 2013 at 5:46 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama will award a Medal of Honor to former Army Capt. William Swenson for conspicuous gallantry in Afghanistan, the White House said Monday.

The medal is the nation's highest military award.

The White House said Swenson and his family are scheduled to join the president for the Oct. 15 ceremony in the nation's capital.

Swenson's "courageous actions," at the risk of his own life, came "while serving as an embedded trainer and mentor of the Afghan National Security Forces with Afghan Border Police Mentor Team, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, during combat operations in Kunar province, Afghanistan, on Sept. 8, 2009," the White House said.

News reports said 13 U.S. troops and about 80 Afghan security force troops fought off more than 150 Taliban fighters.

Swenson will be the sixth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan, the White House said.

His military decorations include: Bronze Star Medal with Two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with One Campaign Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with Two Campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Ranger Tab and the Parachutist Badge.

Swenson separated from the Army on Feb. 1, 2011, and lives in Seattle. He is single.

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