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Medal of Honor Awardee Embodies the Best of His Generation - The Daily Beast

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President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor yesterday to former Army Captain William Swenson, the first Army officer since Vietnam to receive our nation’s highest military honor. The story of Swenson reveals a man who values truth and service, not just because of his actions in Afghanistan, but also through his actions after. Brave, disillusioned, resolute - in a variety of ways, Swenson personifies the best of the men and women who joined the military after 9/11 and then spent over a decade fighting two brushfire wars on the other side of the world.

“Like all great leaders, Swenson was a servant,” President Obama said yesterday. Throughout the White House ceremony and in subsequent interviews, Swenson maintained a stoic calm. Other than a set of hard eyes, he didn’t look or sound like a man who said the following after the Battle of Ganjgal in September 2009:

“When I’m being second-guessed by higher or somebody that’s sitting in an air-conditioned TOC, why [the] hell am I even out there in the first place? Let’s sit back and play Nintendo. I am the ground commander. I want that fucker, and I am willing to accept the consequences of that fucker.”

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