President Donald Trump on Oct. 30 awarded the Medal of Honor to Army MSgt. Matthew Williams for his actions during a 2008 battle in Afghanistan.
“For more than a decade, Matt has stared down our enemies, fought back the forces of terror, and exemplified the virtue and gallantry of the American warrior,” Trump said at the White House ceremony. “He has completed five tours in Afghanistan, a deployment in Africa, and he continues to serve our country on Active Duty today.”
Williams, who currently serves at Fort Bragg, N.C., was deployed to Afghanistan with Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3336, Special Operations Task Force-33, when his team came under fire in Shok Valley.
Then a sergeant, Williams exposed himself to insurgent rocket-propelled grenade, sniper, and machine gun fire to rescue other military personnel and evacuate several casualties. He led an Afghan Commando unit across a fast-moving river to fight up the side of a mountain, establishing a base from which to fire.
He then aided his team sergeant, wounded by sniper fire, and helped him down the steep mountainside to where casualties were being collected. Williams then climbed back up the cliff, again exposing himself to enemy fire, to bring more of the wounded and dead to where they could be loaded onto helicopters.
He was originally given the Silver Star for the battle, an award that was eventually upgraded to the Medal of Honor.