WASHINGTON, D.C. – It is hard to imagine the reality of war and the experience of being under enemy fire. It’s harder still to fully appreciate the amount of courage and heroism exhibited in some of our nation’s finest going to unbelievable lengths to save lives and fight for freedom. One of those heroes is Army Master Sergeant Matthew Williams. stationed at Fort Bragg, and he will soon be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Afghanistan in 2008.
To say then-Sergeant Williams actions on April 6, 2008 were heroic is no exaggeration. His fellow soldiers were trapped on a mountain top so he led a group of soldiers to their rescue, exposing himself openly to rocket propelled grenades, machine guns, and snipers; waded across a rushing ice cold river; and, fought their way up the mountain to and established a base of fire that overwhelmed the enemy. Still, multiple soldiers were injured by sniper fire, so Sergeant Williams — over and over again — exposed himself to enemy fire to evacuate the inured to safety.
It would become known as the Battle of Shok Valley and Williams will receive the Medal of Honor for his role in it on October 30 at a ceremony at the White House.
From Stars & Stripes:
“[…] Williams, who remains on active duty with 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, N.C., will be the second soldier to receive the Medal of Honor for his actions during that battle, which took place April 6, 2008. Retired Army Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Shurer received the medal from Trump on Oct. 1, 2018, which was also an upgrade of the Silver Star that he was initially awarded for his actions in that battle.
Williams continuously braved insurgent rocket-propelled-grenade, sniper and machine gun fire as he and the unit of Green Berets and Afghan commandos faced down a much larger, entrenched enemy force. He helped evacuate casualties from the “near vertical mountainside” and established a fire position that ensured the commando unit could eventually escape.
“Sergeant Williams’ actions helped save the lives of four critically wounded soldiers and prevented the lead element of the assault force from being overrun by the enemy,” the White House statement read. […]”
While originally from Texas, North Carolina is sure proud to host such a hero at Fort Bragg. We thank him for his incredible service as he moves, Always Forward, as role model for service to our country.