Medal of Honor recipient returns to active duty

Posted at 11:28 AM, Apr 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-10 11:28:34-04

Medal of Honor recipient Capt. William Swenson is back on active duty with the Army.

Swenson, who originally left the Army in 2011, is assigned to I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. according to the Army Times.

Swenson, who initially retired from the Army in 2011, became the sixth living receipt from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to receive the honor.

He was awarded the medal for his actions on September 8, 2009, in the Battle of the Ganjgal Valley in Afghanistan’s Kunar province. The battle claimed the lives of four American soldiers, 10 Afghan soldiers and an Afghan interpreter.

Helmet camera captured new Medal of Honor recipient’s actions during ambush
Army Captain William Swenson receives the Medal of Honor

A fifth soldier, Sgt. First Class Kenneth Westbrook, who Swenson helped load onto a helicopter — later died from his wounds.

Part of Swenson’s rescue efforts were recorded by a rescue pilot’s helmet camera. In the heat of battle, with bullets flying and dust blocking any clear vision of the surrounding situation, Swenson is seen helping Westbrook, who had been shot in the throat, back to a helicopter.

After placing him in the helicopter, Swenson bent down to kiss his forehead before running back to the battle to retrieve other fallen Americans and Afghan fighters.

“I was just trying to keep his spirits up. I wanted him to know it was going to be OK. And I wanted him to know that he had done his job, but it was time for him to go,” Swenson told CNN recently.

Read more at the Army Times.