WASHINGTON, D.C. – His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio,J.C.D., Archbishop for the United States Military Services, has issued a statement on Monday’s Medal of Honorpresentation to U.S. Navy Senior Chief Edward C. Byers, Jr. Senior Chief Byers, a Catholic SEAL and former medic, received the U.S. Military’s highest decoration in a White House ceremony for his valor in the 2012 rescue of an American doctor held hostage in Afghanistan by the Taliban, during which he gave first aid and offered prayers for a fatally wounded fellow SEAL.
Archbishop Broglio said:
“SEAL Senior Chief Edward Byers has demonstrated true heroism both in rescuing a fellow citizen and in praying for his deceased comrade. His actions will continue to inspire all of those who love our Country and serve it so selflessly. It is obvious that his patriotism and prayer are motivated by his strong Catholic faith. May his story strengthen all of us in our conviction to do what is right and just. It is an honor to join the chorus of those who are praising this Seal and all of his fellows.”
Senior Chief Byers, who also has two Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in combat and five Bronze Stars with V device for heroism, told reporters he has a special devotion to St. Michael the Archangel, leader of the Army of God against evil and guardian of the Church. He said he wears a St. Michael the Archangel patch on his back during combat operations and prays to St. Michael before each mission.