Defense Dept. apologizes to Medal of Honor recipient

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swensonDefense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued an apology to the newest Medal of Honor recipient for having to wait so long between his nomination and the time he was actually presented the medal.

Army Capt. William Swenson of Seattle was awarded the nation’s highest military honor Tuesday at the White House for his heroics on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

in 2009, Swenson was part of an American team training Afghan security forces when insurgents attacked. He repeatedly ran into the intense seven-hour firefight and evacuated injured U.S. and Afghan soldiers.

Five Americans, 10 Afghan troops and an interpreter were killed in the battle.

A Marine in the same battle, former Cpl. Dakota Meyer, received his Medal of Honor in September 2011.

According to the military, Swenson was first nominated for the Medal of Honor in 2009, but his paperwork was lost. The nomination was resubmitted in 2011.

The Defense Department’s Inspector General has launched an investigation into the delay to determine whether there was any negligence involved.

Swenson is now retired from the Army, but he recently requested a return to active duty.

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