President Obama awarded Edward Byers the Medal of Honor on Monday. He got the award for rescuing an American hostage in Afghanistan.
It’s pretty exceptional to get a Medal of Honor in the first place, which is the military’s highest honor, and rewards “gallantry and bravery in combat at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.” According to the BBC, Byers is the first active duty member of the military in four decades to receive this award. Foxtrot Alpha says that he is only the sixth Navy SEAL to get a Medal of Honor.
The BBC says that Byers entered the building where the hostage was being held. He threw himself on top of the hostage to protect him from gun fire. At the same time, he pinned an enemy guard against the wall by his throat.
If you want more details of this thrilling story, Foxtrot Alpha has Byers’ retelling of it. Byers is from Ohio and enlisted in the Navy in 1998. He has served nine tours of duty, and was part of the elite SEAL Team Six when the rescue operation happened.
Getty has a number of nice pictures from the ceremony, including these: