Capt. William Swenson, Medal of Honor recipient, rejoins Army

Medal of Honor recipient William Swenson and Kelsey Long listen to the Citizen Honors award ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Medal of Honor Day, March 25, 2014.


By ADAM ASHTON | The (Tacoma, Wash.) News Tribune | Published: April 9, 2014

Medal of Honor recipient Capt. William Swenson has rejoined the Army and been assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s I Corps, the corps spokesman said Wednesday.

Swenson’s appointment to the corps' plans office means that three of six living military servicemembers who have received the Medal of Honor for actions of Afghanistan are now assigned to Lewis-McChord.

Swenson, Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry and Staff Sgt. Ty Carter are the only Medal of Honor recipients still on active duty.

The three of them were recognized last week at a ceremony in Olympia, Wash., in which their names were added to the state’s Medal of Honor monument. Petry and Carter wore dress uniforms to the event, while Swenson wore a civilian suit.

I Corps spokesman Col. Dave Johson said Swenson joined the Lewis-McChord headquarters on March 14 as a captain.

Swenson of Seattle left the Army in 2011, two years after he repeatedly risked his life to recover the bodies of ambushed Marines and Afghan soldiers in Kunar Province. Five U.S. military servicemembers and nine of their Afghan partners lost their lives in the battle.

During the battle, Swenson coordinated combat aviation and helicopter assets. He fought to rescue a wounded comrade, and delivered first aid under enemy fire.

He received the nation’s highest military honor in an October ceremony at the White House, two years after Marine Dakota Meyer received a Medal of Honor for his role in the same battle.

A McClatchy investigation by reporter Jonathan Landay, who was embedded with the troops during the ambush, showed that Swenson’s nomination for the medal was delayed because the Army lost his paperwork.

Carter serves in Lewis-McChord’s 7th Infantry Division. Petry soon is expected to retire from his 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.