2013 Man of the Year: The American Soldier

U.S. military
December 31, 2013

As always, the American Soldier is a man of the year for the Washington Free Beacon. As these brave men and women fight for our freedom overseas, it is worth taking a moment to recognize their valor, salute their bravery, and mourn the 119 members of the armed services killed in Afghanistan this year.

It is also a time to recognize their heroism. Consider the story of Capt. William D. Swenson, who, surrounded by enemy forces, not only beat back the attack but saved his fellows in the process. "Captain Swenson ignored enemy radio transmissions demanding surrender and maneuvered uncovered to render medical aid to a wounded fellow soldier. Captain Swenson stopped administering aid long enough to throw a grenade at approaching enemy forces, before assisting with moving the soldier for air evacuation."

Or consider the action of Ty Carter, who, when confronted by an estimated enemy force of 300, "reinforced a forward battle position, ran twice through a 100 meter gauntlet of enemy fire to resupply ammunition, and voluntarily remained there to defend the isolated position. Armed with only an M4 carbine rifle, Specialist Carter placed accurate, deadly fire on the enemy, beating back the assault force and preventing the position from being overrun, over the course of several hours."

Carter and Swenson were both awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their heroic deeds; they have earned their praise. And each and every member of the armed forces serving honorably at home and abroad deserves our thanks.