A Navy SEAL who was part of a courageous hostage rescue in Afghanistan in 2012 will receive the military's top award for heroism later this month, the White House announced today.
Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Byers will be awarded the Medal of Honor on Feb. 29. He will be the 11th living service member to receive the award for actions in Afghanistan.
Byers, 36, was a member of the team that conducted a heroic raid Dec. 8 and 9, 2012 to rescue Dr. Dilip Joseph, an American who had been kidnapped in Afghanistan by the Taliban days before. Joseph was in the country as the medical director for Morning Star Development, a nonprofit organization training Afghan healthcare workers.
While Dilip was recovered safely from his captors, the operation proved costly. Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas Checque, 28, a member of the Navy's elite SEAL Team 6, was shot and killed during the raid.
Byers, a native of Toledo, Ohio, began his 17-year Navy career as a hospital corpsman, serving with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He attended the elite Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL course in 2002 and completed the Special Operations Combat Medic course the following year.
His previous valor awards include five Bronze Star Medals with Combat "V" device, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat "V" device, and two Purple Hearts, signifying wounds received in combat.
Byers is now working to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont, and plans to graduate in early 2016.