IAVA Commends Navy SEAL Edward Byers, Recipient of Medal of Honor

Heroic action of Senior Chief makes him first sailor in a decade to receive the Medal of Honor 

NEW YORK (February 26, 2016) – Earlier this month the White House announced President Obama will award the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award, to Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Edward Byers for his courageous actions while serving in Afghanistan in 2012. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) joins a grateful nation in commending Senior Chief Byers bravery and heroism and for this highest military honor. He will be the first living Navy SEAL to receive the medal for actions in Afghanistan and the third sailor to earn the distinction since Sept. 11, 2001.

“On behalf of our 425,000 members, we congratulate Senior Chief Byers on this incredible honor,” said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “Byers’ commitment to ensuring that no American is left behind exemplifies the leadership and selfless service our nation’s heroes have to serving our country. Our community is inspired by Byers’ actions and continued dedication to wearing the military uniform. We encourage every American to stand with us in saluting Senior Chief Byers and all service members who protect our freedoms everyday.”

Senior Chief Byers will receive the honor for his actions while serving as part of a team that rescued an American civilian being held hostage in Afghanistan from December 8 through 9, 2012.

President Obama will award Senior Chief Byers the honor on February 29.

Note to media: Email or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 8,000 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.