On Monday, Navy Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward C. Byers Jr. received the Medal Of Honor for his bravery during a December 2012 hostage rescue in rural Afghanistan. Senior Chief Byers is nothing short of an American hero for his actions in the operation, engaging multiple enemy combatants in hand-to-hand combat while making sure the hostage was extracted. Here’s how the Navy described Byer’s swift action in fact of certain danger in their official press release:
As the patrol closed to within 25 meters of the target building, a guard became aware of the rescue force. The forward-most assaulter shot at the guard and ran towards the door to make entry as the guard disappeared inside. Chief Byers was the second assaulter in a sprint towards the door. Six layers of blankets securely fastened to the ceiling and walls served as the Afghan door. While Chief Byers tried to rip down the blankets, the first assaulter pushed his way through the doorway and was immediately shot by enemy AK-47 fire. Chief Byers, fully aware of the hostile threat inside the room, boldly entered and immediately engaged a guard pointing an AK-47 towards him. As he was engaging that guard, another adult male darted towards the corner of the room. Chief Byers could not distinguish if the person may have been the hostage scrambling away or a guard attempting to arm himself with an AK-47 that lay in the corner. Chief Byers tackled the unknown male and seized control of him. While in hand-to-hand combat, Chief Byers maintained control of the unknown male with one hand, while adjusting the focus of his night vision goggles (NVGs) with his other. Once his NVGs were focused, he recognized that the male was not the hostage and engaged the struggling armed guard.
By now other team members had entered the room and were calling to Dr. Joseph to identify himself. Chief Byers heard an unknown voice speak English from his right side. He immediately leaped across the room and selflessly flung his body on top of the American hostage, shielding him from the continued rounds being fired across the room. Almost simultaneously, Chief Byers identified an additional enemy fighter directly behind Dr. Joseph. While covering the hostage with his body, Chief Byers was able to pin the enemy combatant to the wall with his hand around the enemy’s throat. Unable to fire any effective rounds into the enemy, Chief Byers was able to restrain the combatant enough to enable his teammate to fire precision shots, eliminating the final threat within the room.
Last night on Colbert, the Navy SEAL hero was a total class act, using the appearance on national TV to pay tribute to US Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas Checque, who was lost in the mission.
The nod Byers gives to Checque and his other fallen brothers is as big of a Bro move as it gets. Bravo to Stephen Colbert for giving such a worthy message an outlet.