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Seattle Medal of Honor winner recounts heroic rescue

Retired Army captain William Swenson finally got his medal of honor Tuesday at an emotional White House ceremony. His incredible act of heroism was captured on his helmet camera as he helped rescue fellow soldiers and recover bodies during the fiercest firefight of the war in Afghanistan.

The powerful video brought Don to tears as he watched it again today, especially the most poignant moment when Swenson places a kiss on the head of a severely wounded fellow soldier after getting him to a helicopter.

Check out the incredible Washington Post video as Swenson recounts the horror of that day here.

That soldier would eventually die from his injuries. And it turns out he has a tragic connection to our area. Our friend David Rose at Washington's Most Wanted let us know that Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Westbrook was the uncle of Nicole Westbrook, who was shot and killed in Pioneer Square in a seemingly random drive by.

There has still been no arrest in her murder. If you hear anything or know anything about who shot Nicole, call Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound at 1-800-222-tips or Seattle Homicide Detectives.

"Nicole's aunt Char is in DC for the medal presentation and appreciates everyone in Seattle remembering her family," David says.

As for Swenson, even though he retired from the military in February 2011 and has been living in Seattle, two U.S. officials told The Associated Press that Swenson has asked to return to active duty, and the Army is working to allow it.

The Ron and Don Show on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

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About the Author


Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.

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