Today there was an addition to the illustrious roll of Medal of Honor awardees. It took way too long to put him on there.
Before I delve into the politics of CPT Swenson’s Medal of Honor, I want to honor his incredible acts.
CPT Swenson was on an embedded training team advising Afghan Border Police on 8 Sep 2008, when his 65-man unit, which included Afghan Border Police and a Marine advisor team, were caught in an ambush by an estimated 150 insurgents near the village of Ganjgal.
CPT Swenson moved to the sound of the guns in his Ford Ranger pickup truck, linking up with the Marine command element whose commander was shot in the arm and whose 1SGT already had ruptured eardrums from an RPG. CPT Swenson took command and repeatedly requested artillery fire, which was denied because of the close proximity to the village where women and children were observed shuttling ammunition to the insurgents. Eventually white phosphorous was fired 400M from his position which wasn’t near enough to provide concealment to the engaged troops. Realizing the enemy had fire superiority and was on the verge of overrunning the forward element, a painful decision was made to withdraw, reorganize and then rescue three Marines and a Corpsman at the front of the column with whom contact had been lost.