Navy Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Edward “Ed” C. Byers was awarded the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as a part of a team that rescued an American civilian being held hostage in Afghanistan Dec. 8 – 9 2012.
After his fellow Navy Seal and lead assaulter was wounded when entering the room, Byers burst in anyway. He neutralized two fighters immediately, shielded the hostage with his own body, then neutralized a third fighter before his team could come in and take action. More information about the rescue can be found on the Navy’s Medal of Honor website.
Byers dedicated his Medal of Honor to his friend and teammate, Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque, who was killed in that battle.
“The thoughts of Nic, and the other brothers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice I believe is what will carry me through bearing the responsibilities that come with this honor,” said Byers following the ceremony. “I’m going to continue doing my job in the Navy, continue being a SEAL, and doing the thing I love ever since I was a child. It’s truly the best job in the world,” he added.
Byers started his career in the Navy as a corpsman, first serving at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Healthcare Center, a medical center run jointly by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. He entered the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL school in 2002 and received his first SEAL team assignment in 2004. Byers has served in 11 overseas deployments, nine combat tours and has received two Purple Hearts and five Bronze Star Medals with Valor device.
Byers is the sixth Navy Seal to receive the Medal of Honor.