Afghanistan Special Forces veteran set to receive Medal of Honor

“Then-Sgt. Matthew Williams assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), conducts long-range weapons training at Camp Morehead, Afghanistan, during the fall of 2009.”(Courtesy of U.S. Army Master Sgt. Matthew Williams)

CASPER, Wyo. — The United States Army says that Master Sergeant Matthew O. Williams will be awarded a Medal of Honor.

Williams will be presented with the award by President Donald Trump on Oct. 30, the army said via Facebook.

“A weapons sergeant with the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) who heroically fought up a mountain through a barrage of enemy fire to help rescue his detachment members will receive the Medal of Honor,” Devon Suits wrote in a Thursday, Oct. 10 announcement from the army.

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“The White House announced today that Master Sgt. Matthew O. Williams went above and beyond the call of duty during an operation on April 6, 2008. Williams — a sergeant at the time of the operation — was assigned to Special Operations Task Force-33 in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.”

Williams along with 14 other Special Forces and about 100 Afghan commandos set out on an operation targeting enemy forces in a “mountain-top village within Shok Valley,” according to Suits.

After a lead team sustained casualties and were pinned down, Williams led a counter-assault team.

“Joined by his team sergeant, Williams positioned his Afghan commando force to provide a violent base of suppressive fire, preventing the enemy force from overrunning the team’s position,” Suits says. “In turn, the actions of Williams and his team allowed the first command and control element to consolidate and move the casualties down the mountain.”

“As Williams worked to defend the force’s position, an enemy sniper took aim and injured his team sergeant. With disregard for his safety, Williams maneuvered through an onslaught of heavy machine-gun fire to render aid.”

Williams assisted in the evacuation of other injured soldiers during the operation.

“As Williams returned to the base of the mountain with three wounded Soldiers, enemy forces maneuvered to their position in an attempt to overrun the causality collection point,” Suits writes. “Williams and the Afghan commandos quickly responded with a counter-attack and courageously fought back the attacking force.”

“As the medical evacuation helicopter arrived, Williams exposed himself to insurgent fire again to help transport casualties. Once the injured were secure, Williams continued to direct Commando fires and suppress numerous enemy positions. The team’s actions enabled the evacuation of the wounded and dead without further casualties.”

Suits says the operation lasted for over six hours.

“Williams is the second member of his detachment to receive the Medal of Honor for this operation,” he adds. “The president presented Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer II the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony Oct. 1, 2018.”

The Medal of Honor is the highest military award for valor in the U.S.