Seattle University grad to receive Medal of Honor

By Anna Weaver

Former Army Capt. William Swenson, a Seattle resident and graduate of Seattle Catholic schools, will become the latest Medal of Honor recipient Oct. 15 for his actions “beyond the call of duty” during a 2009 Afghanistan battle.

Army Capt. William Swenson

“It’s a monumental event for me, for my family and for my teammates,” Swenson said in a Sept. 16 Army release announcing the award. “This day also means a lot to those I served with.”

Swenson attended St. Joseph School in Seattle and graduated from Seattle University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. His father, Carl, is the longtime technology consultant for the Archdiocese of Seattle’s Office for Catholic Schools.

Former Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, who received the Medal of Honor in 2011, fought alongside Swenson during the same Afghanistan battle on Sept. 8, 2009. On that day, insurgents ambushed U.S. and Afghan forces headed to a meeting in an Afghan village.

Meyer wrote in his book, “Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War,” that Swenson “was the centerpiece for command and control in a raging firefight that never died down.”

At the time, Swenson was on his second Afghanistan tour and serving as an adviser to Afghan National Security Forces as part of 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

Swenson is already highly decorated, with more than 13 military awards. He will become the sixth living recipient of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award, for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan, during an Oct. 15 ceremony at the White House.

Swenson was commissioned as an Army officer in 2002 and separated from the Army in 2011.

Read more on the Army Times website.

September 20, 2013

Anna Weaver

Anna Weaver was the multimedia, online and social media editor, and writer for Northwest Catholic from 2013-2018.