On October 1, President Donald Trump awarded former Army Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Shurer II with the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic service in Afghanistan.
The military award, which is the highest of its type, was presented by the President in an official ceremony at the White House with some 250 guests in attendance, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Shurer, a Fairbanks native and senior Army medic with the special forces, was serving in Afghanistan on April 6, 2008, when his squad ran into a radical barrage of machine gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades.
President Donald Trump will present former Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer II with the Medal of Honor today in a White House Ceremony for his heroic actions in 2008 when he saved four critically wounded Special Forces teammates and 10 Afghan commandos. https://t.co/69kyBltxlY
— US Army Research Lab (@ArmyResearchLab) October 1, 2018
Shurer worked tirelessly to save as many lives as possible while militants fired at him. He treated soldiers, evacuated them, and loaded them into military helicopters to be treated, all while continuing to fight deep in the mountains of the remote area.
Shurer originally tried to enlist in the military and was turned down due to a medical condition. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he tried to enlist again and was accepted.
In 2006, Shurer received a military promotion from the rank of sergeant to staff sergeant after receiving his Green Beret. He went on to serve with the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan.
He was honorably discharged in 2009.
At the award ceremony, the President told Shurer, “I can’t believe they rejected you. Boy that was a bad mistake. But they made up for it, right.”
As Trump handed Shurer his award he said, “Ron was not done yet. He charged back to the mountain — all the way up — and rejoined the fight. For more than six hours, Ron bravely faced down the enemy. Not a single American died in that brutal battle, thanks in great measure to Ron’s heroic actions.”
Shurer’s parents were both in the Air Force and after a few military moves, the family ended up in Washington state at the McChord Air Force Base. Shurer graduated from Washington State University after completing high school.
Currently, Shurer resides in Burke, Virginia with his wife and two sons. After his discharge from the military, Shurer joined the Secret Service in Phoenix in 2009. In 2014, he was assigned to the Special Operations Division.