There are simple gestures that can mean even more than the most courageous of actions. William Swenson's return to active duty is one example of this. Swenson, a United States Army captain who was awarded the Medal of Honor on Oct. 15, 2013, had previously submitted a formal request asking to return to active duty. As reported by The Army Times on April 9, Capt. William Swenson is now back on active duty, serving as a plans officer at I Corps headquarters.
According to the report, Swenson joins Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry and Staff Sgt. Ty Carter as the only Medal of Honor recipients honored for actions in Afghanistan who are currently on active duty. All three men are stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, located south-southwest of Tacoma, Washington.
Last year, President Barack Obama gave the highest military award to War on Terror veteran, Army Captain William D. Swenson, in recognition of his efforts to save American lives during a battle with Taliban insurgents near the Pakistan border in 2009.
The decorated officer risked his life to evacuate U.S. and Afghan soldiers wounded during an ambush by Taliban insurgents in the Ganjgal valley on the morning of Sept. 8, 2009. The Washington Times reports that with minimal air support, Swenson repeatedly braved enemy fire in order to retrieve the dead bodies of those killed in action. Although his heroic actions helped save many lives that day, five Americans, nine Afghan troops and an Afghan interpreter were still killed.
Swenson was first proposed for the Medal of Honor in 2009, but missed the documentation and had to re-process the proposal in 2011. Swenson critcized the Army for the lack of support his unit received during the battle. This led to an investigation in which two Army officers were punished.
William Swenson's active duty return is unusual because of the fact that he's a Medal of Honor recipient. Swenson didn't immediately respond to requests for an interview.