Retired US Army Captain William Swenson was awarded his country's Medal of Honor this week for heroically rescuing wounded colleagues while under fire in Afghanistan, in 2009.
According to the official account of the Battle of Ganjgal, Swenson ran into an open battlefield armed with grenades while under fire, and then jumped into vehicles to search for casualties, before returning back to the fight for another six hours.
At the medal ceremony, President Obama gave a full account of the battle - which is pretty astonishing (and can be read unedited at Kotaku).
"Exposing himself again to enemy fire, Will helps carry Kenneth the length of more than two football fields, down steep terraces, to that helicopter. And then, in the moment captured by those cameras, Will leans in to say goodbye.
But more Americans – and more Afghans – are still out there. So Will does something incredible. He jumps behind the wheel of an unarmored Ford Ranger pickup truck. A Marine gets in the passenger seat. And they drive that truck – a vehicle designed for the highway – straight into the battle."
But for another perspective on Swenson's heroics, you can now watch footage recorded on a head-mounted camera, worn by a crewman of the medical helicopter involved in the rescue.
The clip shows Swenson handing off injured soldiers to the helicopter before returning to the battlefield.
The footage was released by the widow of Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Westbrook, who was rescued by Swenson but later died of his wounds.
Swenson's decision to retrieve Westbrook from the battlefield enabled him to survive long enough to say goodbye to his wife before he died.
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