SSG Ron Shurer receives Medal of Honor

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SSG Ron Shurer receives Medal of Honor

An excellent story from Stars and Stripes:

Dillon Behr never understood how he and Ron Shurer received the same valor award for their actions in the midst of a savage, 6-hour firefight in which their Green Beret unit was nearly overrun in the jagged, icy cliffs of eastern Afghanistan.

The entire 12-man force from Operational Detachment-Alpha 3336 had fought valiantly April 6, 2008, on that Nuristan province mountain where they’d been sent to kill or capture a high-value leader of the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin insurgent group, Behr said Sunday. But Shurer not only single-handedly kept Behr alive after he was shot through the hip early in the fight known now as the Battle of Shok Valley, but he also ultimately was responsible for ensuring all of the American troops on that mountain made it out alive.

“Without Ron Shurer at my side, I would have died that day. No question,” Behr said. “His presence gave me the confidence to know I could make it. There’s a good chance if he would have been critically injured or killed on the battlefield … we all might have died out there.”

Months after the battle, 10 soldiers who fought that day were awarded the Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest honor for valor, representing the most such battlefield awards earned in a single engagement since the Vietnam War. On Monday, Shurer’s Silver Star was upgraded to the Medal of Honor when President Donald Trump presented the nation’s highest military honor to the former Green Beret during a ceremony at the White House.

Here's the video of the presentation yesterday:

Shurer is having some medical issues, so keep him in your thoughts and prayers:

Shurer said Sunday that his fellow soldiers' appreciation of his actions that day means more to him than receiving the Medal of Honor.

“That means so much more,” he said. “I know these guys’ wives, their kids. Just knowing that — it’s very humbling for them to say [he saved their lives]. Luckily, it all kind of worked for me to help those guys.”

Shurer, who last year was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, hopes his award can draw some attention to the sacrifice Green Berets have made through the years and continue to make today in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and in countries across Africa.

“Hopefully, [it will] remind the American public about all the servicemembers we still have out there, still doing the missions today, just quietly going about their jobs, you know, not asking for recognition,” he said. “Whatever little voice I get, I hope to just be able to direct attention that way.”

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.