Medal of Honor recipient coming to campus Thursday


Former Army Capt. William Swenson receives the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama at an Oct. 15 White House ceremony.

The nation’s newest Medal of Honor recipient, former Army Capt. William Swenson, will speak at Loyola on Thursday afternoon.

Swenson received the honor—the nation’s highest medal for valor in combat—for saving more than a dozen lives after his squad was ambushed in Afghanistan in 2009. He is the second person to receive the Medal of Honor for that battle, according to the Army’s official website.

“With complete disregard for his own safety, Captain Swenson unhesitatingly led a team in an unarmored vehicle into the kill zone, exposing himself to enemy fire on at least two occasions, to recover the wounded and search for four missing comrades,” reads the official citation on the Army website. “(His) extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service.”

Swenson graduated from Seattle University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and joined the military in 2002, according to the Army website. He received numerous awards and decorations in his military career, including the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, and the Army Commendation Medal.

Swenson will speak Thursday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom on the 10th floor of the Corboy Law Center, 25 E. Pearson St. His speech will be followed by a brief reception.

The event is free and open to the public.