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The Navy SEAL who will become on Monday the sixth member of that elite force to receive the Medal of Honor proved his mettle in hand-to-hand combat in Afghanistan – or more accurately, hand-to-throat.
During a daring nighttime raid in 2012 to rescue an American citizen from Taliban clutches, Edward Byers Jr. leaped across the room to shield the hostage from oncoming fire while simultaneously engaging a Taliban guard.
“To be a Navy SEAL means you have to be incredibly resilient,” Byers said. “You have to be hardworking. They’re the toughest men on the face of this planet. Any mission they’re given, they will have success at it, and ultimately they are our brothers who, if they have to, they’ll die for you.”