Senior Chief Petty Officer Edward C. Byers Jr. was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on March 1, 2016.
Byers was a SEAL in the U.S. Navy, and after serving eleven deployments to include nine combat tours, was awarded the highest honor of the U.S. Military. He is the 3,497th service member to receive this decoration. What might come as a surprise, Byers is only the sixth SEAL to be awarded the Medal of Honor. He, being from an elite group of soldiers, joins an exclusive family of our country’s bravest.
After he was awarded the medal and the Commander in Chief had given his speech, the Senior Chief was provided an opportunity to give his remarks. After crossing himself in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Byers gave his speech. What he said was thoroughly Catholic! The address itself can be seen in the video above, starting at the 40:20 mark. Here is a full transcript of his remarks:
On my first deployment to Iraq some eleven years ago, I arrived in country and I saw another SEAL standing there with a St. Michael the Archangel patch on his shoulder. I’m not sure what drew me to it, but I walked up to him and asked him if I could have it. He was leaving the combat zone and made it through a safe deployment, so he was absolutely willing to give it to me. He handed it to me without hesitation. I’ve worn that patch on my kit on every single mission I’ve ever been a part of, and I prayed the St. Michael prayer while moving in the toughest missions I faced. And it does start by saying, “St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle and be our protection.