Medal of Honor: Let's go back to the beginning
He should know. He was there that day, embedded with the 90 Afghan soldiers, border police and U.S. Marine and Army trainers when they walked into an ambush that killed 15 of them and left 24 wounded.
Two recommendations for the Medal of Honor came out of that battle, one for Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer and another for Army Capt. William Swenson, who is from Seattle. Meyer received his medal, the highest U.S. military award bestowed for gallantry, on Sept. 15, 2011.
But the nomination for Swenson, who five days after the battle criticized top U.S. commanders in Afghanistan, was “lost” from the Army computer system, Landay reported this week. Landay’s latest story points out further irregularities with these two Medal of Honor recommendations, which have so far included accusations of exaggerations and inaccuracies in the Meyer recommendation, disagreements between the Army and Marine accounts of what happened in Ganjgal and serious questions about how the operation was planned and conducted.
Swenson’s recommendation has been resubmitted and President Obama must approve it before Sept. 8, when it expires. Given the controversy that has surrounded the recommendations and the battle itself, there will be more in the news about these events as that date draws near.
That makes it worth looking back on what Landry said and wrote on Sept. 8, 2009, the day of the battle of Ganjgal, back when the story was new and untouched by those with motives other than just reporting what happened.
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