A Boerne man who is a master sergeant in the U.S.
Army received the Medal of Honor from President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Oct. 30, for his heroic efforts during a savage, seven-hour gun battle on an Afghanistan mountainside in 2008 that saved the lives of his fellow soldiers and kept his assault team from being overrun, media reports about the honor said.
Matthew O. Williams, a weapons sergeant in the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan at the time of the 2008 firefight that became known as the Battle of Shok Valley, received the nation’s highest military honor for his decisiveness, resolve and heroism during a battle that arose while his unit was trying to capture or kill an entrenched enemy leader.
The Army Times quoted President Trump as saying, “Matt’s heroism ensured that not a single American died in the Battle of Shok Valley.
Matt is without question and without reservation one of the bravest soldiers and people I’ve met.”
According to accounts of the battle, Williams led a counterattack involving Afghan commandos assigned to his detachment after the lead element in the attack came under heavy fire and was in danger of being overrun, twice brought wounded Green Beret team members down the icy mountainside to a retrieval point and organized a defense of the retrieval point after it came under fire, which allowed the patrol to evacuate the wounded and dead without additional casualties.
Williams, who now lives in North Carolina with his wife and son, called the award an “humbling” and unexpected honor.
“There’s no other option. You can quit and kind of sit on the sidelines… or you can take as much control of a terrible situation as you can and find things to make it better,” he was quoted as saying.