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Trump to award Green Beret the Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor. (U.S. Army/Released)
October 10, 2019

The Medal of Honor is set to be awarded to U.S. Army Master Sgt. Matthew O. Williams; a Green Beret who braved heavy enemy fire to perform lifesaving actions during a 2008 mission in Afghanistan.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced he would award Williams with the nation’s highest military honor on Oct. 30, Stars and Stripes reported. Williams will be recognized for his actions under fire during a commando operation in the Nuristan province of Afghanistan.

While Williams’ Green Beret unit was on a 2008 mission with Afghan commandos, they reportedly encountered a much larger dug in enemy force. Under fire from machine guns, sniper fire and rocket propelled grenades, Williams helped evacuate wounded comrades over a “near vertical mountainside.” He also fought to establish a firing position that could allow him to cover the escaping commando unit.

“Sergeant Williams’ actions helped save the lives of four critically wounded soldiers and prevented the lead element of the assault force from being overrun by the enemy,” a White House statement described his actions.

Williams previously received the Silver Star for his actions under fire. He will be the second Soldier awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during the Battle of Shok Valley.

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Williams reportedly continues to serve on active duty with 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, N.C. Williams, a Boerne, Texas native has served in the Army for 14 years, according to the Army.

In October of 2018, Trump recognized retired Army Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Shurer with a Medal of Honor for the same battle, also raising Shurer’s distinction from a Silver Star previously awarded for his actions.

As part of the same 3rd Special Forces unit, Shurer served as a medic on Special Operations Task Force 33 which was tasked on April 6, 2008 with taking down a high-value target in Shok Valley. The target was part of Hezeb Islami al Gulbadin insurgent group.

When the task force encountered heavy resistance, Shurer reportedly fought across several hundred meters of frozen Afghan mountainside and reportedly killed multiple insurgent fighters in his effort to reach his pinned-down comrades. Upon reaching his pinned down comrades, Shurer provided aid to four critically wounded U.S. Soldiers and 10 Afghan commandos.

Shurer endured a gunshot wound to the arm and a round that struck his helmet as he went on to pull another wounded Soldier to cover and render aid.

Next shurer helped another Soldier who lost his leg and then the medic adapted a bit of nylon webbing he found, into a device for lowering three wounded Soldiers down near-vertical 60-foot cliff.