President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor to a member of SEAL Team Six this month for his role in rescuing a doctor held for ransom by the Taliban in late 2012, USA Today reports.
Navy Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Byers will be given the award at a White House ceremony bravery shown during the rescue of Dr. Dilip Joseph in December 2012. Joseph had been held captive by members of the Taliban for five days when he was rescued.
"There's no margin of doubt or possibility of error in awarding this honor," a Defense official told USA Today. "His actions were so conspicuous in terms of bravery and self-sacrifice that they clearly distinguished him to be worthy of the award, including risk of his own life."
Much of the details of the mission and Byers' role in it are secret. That is counter to a typical awarding of the Medal of Honor.
According to USA Today, the White House said only that Byers' honor is for "his courageous actions while serving as part of a team that rescued an American civilian being held hostage in Afghanistan, December 8-9, 2012."
Joseph himself has given details of his rescue in his book, "Kidnapped by the Taliban: A Story of Terror, Hope, and Rescue by SEAL Team Six,"
though the Pentagon disputes some of his account.
According to Joseph, who was medical director of the faith-based nonprofit Morningstar Development, two of his captors heard sounds outside their location and went out to investigate, but determined nothing was amiss.
Moments later, gunshots began and a man he later learned was Byers laid on top of him to protect him from harm. Five Taliban fighters and one Navy SEAL were killed in the raid.
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