Navy SEAL to Receive Medal Of Honor on Monday

 In Military

Navy SEAL to Receive Medal Of Honor on Monday

Only 5 previous Navy SEALs in history have ever received the nation’s highest honor. On Monday, February 29, 2016, Senior Chief Petty Officer Edward C. Byers, 36, will become the 6th. It’s also the first time the Medal Of Honor will be given to a living Navy SEAL since the Vietnam war.

The incident that led to the honor

The mission was to rescue Dr. Dilip Joseph, who had been captured by the Taliban in 2012.

Stars and Stripes reported,

The small team of the U.S. military’s most elite special operators navigated difficult terrain, hiking more than four hours on a “no-fail mission” to retrieve Joseph, who along with two Afghans had been captured by the Taliban outside Kabul on Dec. 5. Joseph was in Afghanistan to establish medical facilities through Colorado-based nonprofit Morning Star Development.

“Success of the rescue operation relied upon surprise, speed, and aggressive action,” states Byers’ Medal of Honor citation. “Trading personal security for speed of action was inherent to the success of this rescue mission. Each assaulter in the rescue force volunteered for this operation with full appreciation for the risks they were to undertake.”

Under the cover of night, the SEALs approached within about 75 feet of the structure where Joseph was being held. That’s when an armed guard spotted the force. Checque sprinted forward, killing the guard and entering the compound. Byers was steps behind him.

Inside, Byers killed two armed Taliban fighters before identifying Joseph and shielding him from harm.

Byer shielded Joseph with his own body. When he saw that a Taliban fighter with an AK-47 was inches away, he continued to shield Joseph with his body and pinned the man to the wall long enough for another SEAL to kill him.

“Anyone who has been in combat knows that in those moments you either react or you get killed.” Ed Byers

 Navy SEAL

Navy SEAL Senior Chief Petty Officer Edward C. Byers will receive the Medal of Honor on Feb 29, 2016 – US Navy photo

The Honoree

Senior Chief Petty Officer Byers is reportedly a man who stays out of the limelight, and isn’t particularly fond of  other SEALs  who blab their exploits all over the media. Though he didn’t tell Stripes what unit he was with, it is thought that he serves with SEAL Team 6.

He doesn’t think of himself as a “hero,” but he says he loves the job and will do it as long as he physically can accomplish it. He gives more credit to his teammates than himself, which shows that he is a man of excellent character. He has always wanted to be a SEAL.

“To be a Navy SEAL means you have to be incredibly resilient. You have to be hardworking. They’re the toughest men on the face of this planet. Any mission their given they will succeed at it, and ultimately they are our brothers who if they have to, they’ll die for you.” Ed Byers

 

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