Obama to award Medal of Honor to Navy SEAL for daring rescue

Obama to award Medal of Honor to Navy SEAL for daring rescue
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President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to a Navy SEAL who led a daring rescue of an American citizen held hostage in Afghanistan in 2012, the White House announced Tuesday.

Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Byers will receive the nation’s highest military honor in a White House ceremony on Feb. 29. He is the eleventh living service member to be awarded the medal for actions in Afghanistan. 

Byers, a member of the elite SEAL Team Six, participated in a special forces operation that led to the rescue of an American doctor, Dr. Dilip Joseph, who had been kidnapped by the Taliban for ransom, according to USA Today.

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Byers, 36, and another rescuer helped shield Joseph’s body as they escorted him out of the compound where he had been held for five days, the doctor wrote in a 2014 book.

The White House provided few details about the secretive mission and Byers's role in it, other than to praise his “courageous actions while serving as part of a team that rescued an American civilian being held hostage in Afghanistan.” 

A native of Toledo, Ohio, Byers joined the Navy in 1998 and has completed seven overseas combat tours. He has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal five times, the Purple Heart twice and the Joint Service Commendation Medal.