President Donald Trump today awarded the Medal of Honor to Ronald Shurer II, a former Army Green Beret who now protects the president as a Secret Service agent.
"Today is a truly proud and special day for those of us here in the White House because Ron works right here alongside of us on the Secret Service counter-assault team; these are incredible people," Trump told a crowded room filled with Shurer's family, fellow soldiers and Army senior leaders.
Shurer was initially awarded a Silver Star for performing heroic feats as a medic during a daring combat mission in the mountains of Afghanistan on April 6, 2008.
Trump upgraded his award to the Medal of Honor after hearing his story.
"Several weeks ago, my staff invited Ron and his wife Miranda to a meeting in the West Wing," Trump recounted, as Shurer sat in his Army dress blue uniform. "They didn't know what it was about; they walked into the Oval Office, and I told Ron that he was going to receive our nation's highest military honor. It was a moment I will never forget."
Trump then told the story of Shurer's bravery during that 2008 mission to "hunt down a deadly terrorist, a leader in that world he was in a remote mountain village."
"Ron was among two dozen Special Forces soldiers and 100 Afghan commandos who dropped off by helicopter into Shok Valley, a rocky barren valley, far away from reinforcements," Trump said.
As the lead assault element approached the target village, "roughly 200 well-trained and well-armed terrorists ambushed the American and Afghan forces," Trump said.
Shurer immediately began treating the wounded. He then sprinted through enemy fire to reach several of his teammates who were pinned down on a cliff above.
"There was blood all over the place," Trump said. "It was a tough, tough situation to be in. Immediately, Ron climbed the rocky mountain, all the while fighting back against the enemy and dodging gun fire left and right. Rockets were shot at him, everything was shot at him.
"For more than six hours Ron bravely faced down the enemy; not a single American died in that brutal battle thanks in great measure to Ron's heroic actions."
This article originally appeared on Military.com
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