Medal of Honor recipient from Seattle rejoins Army as officer at JBLM

Staff writerApril 9, 2014 

Capt. William D. Swenson stands during the Pledge of Allegiance during the April 2nd ceremony at the State Capitol public ceremony honoring he and two fellow recent Washington state Medal of Honor recipients.After the main ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda a second,short event took place at the Washington state Medal of Honor Monument nearby on the Capitol campus with the unveiling of their newly-added names to the monument.

STEVE BLOOM — The Olympian Buy Photo

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 the six living military service members 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 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 Johnson 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 service members 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.

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