September 16, 2011

Will US Army Capt. Will Swenson to be recommended for Medal of Honor after all?

You'll remember a few days ago Big Peace linked to a Marine Corps Times story concerning the lack of recognition being afforded to Captain Will Swenson who along with Sgt Dakota Myers saved numerous soldiers, Marines and Afgahn National Army members during an ambush in the Ganjgal Valley.

A report just released indicates that Marine Gen. John Allen, took an active interest in ensuring that Swenson did not go unrecognized for his selfless service to others.

From the Marine Corps Times:

Army Capt. Will Swenson has been recommended by the top U.S. general in Afghanistan for the Medal of Honor after widespread speculation about why his heroism had gone unrecognized, according to a published report.

Swenson braved enemy fire on Sept. 8, 2009, with Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer, who will receive the nation’s top valor award Thursday at the White House. Meyer, now a sergeant in the Individual Ready Reserve, told Marine Corps Times recently that it was “ridiculous” Swenson already hadn’t received some form of valor award.

“I’ll put it this way,” the outspoken Meyer said in an interview. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be alive today.”

Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, took a personal interest in the fierce firefight in Ganjgal, Afghanistan, that led to Meyer’s award, according to a report published on The Wall Street Journal’s website Wednesday night. The record of the battle was reopened last month, and “given the four-star general’s personal interest, sworn statements attesting to Capt. Swenson’s valor were quickly found.”

“Gen. Allen has since forwarded a Medal of Honor recommendation, saying it was the right thing to do despite a lapse of two years,” the report said.
Swenson who left the Army in February was a highly outspoken critic of the rules of engagement (ROE) that he felt placed him and his men in danger, and at the mercy of the whims of the staff at the TOC (Tactical Operations Center). The Big Peace article intimated that it was Swenson's statement's concering the application of the ROE, by individuals no where near the fight, that got any recognition of his actions that day buried or at worse, denied.

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