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Character Education: Interview with Medal of Honor Recipient Ronald Shurer II (Afghanistan)
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
This edWebinar has been postponed.
Hosted by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society
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Plan for your class to tune in for a live interview (or watch the on-demand recording) with Medal of Honor Recipient Ronald Shurer II. Shurer was awarded the Medal of Honor while serving as a Senior Medical Sergeant in Afghanistan. Shurer was part of an assault group inserted by helicopter onto a near-vertical mountain, where they were engaged by fierce enemy machine gun, sniper, and grenade fire. Several casualties were sustained and they became pinned down on the mountain. As the attack intensified, Shurer braved enemy fire to move to an injured Soldier and treat his wounds. Having stabilized the Soldier, he then fought his way up the mountainside to treat four more severely wounded men. Shurer then began to evacuate the wounded, carrying and lowering them down the sheer mountainside. After ensuring the safety of the wounded, Shurer regained control of his commando squad and rejoined the fight.
This edWebinar is an inspiring learning opportunity for middle and high school students to connect directly with an American hero. Interviews with Medal of Honor Recipients are part of the Medal of Honor Character Development Program, a free program that helps students build character and promotes responsible citizenship through a deeper understanding of stories of courage and sacrifice. Before the edWebinar, we encourage teachers to review Shurer’s story with their class.
You can submit students’ questions for Shurer on the registration form. You can also post students’ questions in the live chat question box during the presentation. Student attendees must view the program with their teacher. If you register, you’ll receive a link to the recording if you would like to show it to your class at another time.
About the Presenter
Staff Sergeant Ronald J. Shurer II distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on April 6, 2008, while serving as a Senior Medical Sergeant, Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3336, Special Operations Task Force-33, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Staff Sergeant Shurer was part of an assault element inserted by helicopter into a location in Afghanistan. As the assault element moved up a near-vertical mountain toward its objective, it was engaged by fierce enemy machine gun, sniper, and rocket-propelled grenade fire. The lead portion of the assault element, which included the ground commander, sustained several casualties and became pinned down on the mountainside. Staff Sergeant Shurer and the rest of the trailing portion of the assault element were likewise engaged by enemy machine gun, sniper, and rocket-propelled grenade fire. As the attack intensified, Staff Sergeant Shurer braved enemy fire to move to an injured Soldier and treat his wounds. Having stabilized the injured Soldier, Staff Sergeant Shurer then learned of the casualties among the lead element. Staff Sergeant Shurer fought his way up the mountainside, under intense enemy fire, to the lead element’s location. Upon reaching the lead element, he treated and stabilized two more Soldiers. Finishing those lifesaving efforts, Staff Sergeant Shurer noticed two additional severely wounded Soldiers under intense enemy fire. The bullet that had wounded one of these Soldiers had also impacted Staff Sergeant Shurer’s helmet. With complete disregard for his own life, Staff Sergeant Shurer again moved through enemy fire to treat and stabilize one Soldier’s severely wounded arm. Shortly thereafter, Staff Sergeant Shurer continued to brave withering enemy fire to get to the other Soldier’s location in order to treat his lower leg, which had been almost completely severed by a high-caliber sniper round. After treating the Soldier, Staff Sergeant Shurer began to evacuate the wounded; carrying and lowering them down the sheer mountainside. While moving down the mountain, Staff Sergeant Shurer used his own body to shield the wounded from enemy fire and debris caused by danger-close airstrikes. Reaching the base of the mountain, Staff Sergeant Shurer set up a casualty collection point and continued to treat the wounded. With the arrival of the medical evacuation helicopter, Staff Sergeant Shurer, again under enemy fire, helped load the wounded into the helicopter. Having ensured the safety of the wounded, Staff Sergeant Shurer then regained control of his commando squad and rejoined the fight. He continued to lead his troops and emplace security elements until it was time to move to the evacuation landing zone for the helicopter. Staff Sergeant Shurer’s actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.
About the Host
Cathy Ehlers Metcalf joined the Medal of Honor Character Development Program as Vice President of Education in 2015 after serving as a Regional Curriculum Trainer. Cathy taught college-level writing for over 33 years in Southern California. Cathy’s father was a World War II Medal of Honor Recipient. Those experiences gave Cathy a great respect for both the Medal of Honor and a passion for service to our Nation’s Veterans.
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The edWebinar recording will be posted to this page the day after the presentation.
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The Medal of Honor Character Development Program is a curriculum resource built on the values of courage, commitment, sacrifice, citizenship, integrity, and patriotism. Its living history videos and accompanying lessons teach students that ordinary people can meet great challenges and make the world around them a better place. Each lesson highlights skills such as writing, collaboration, and critical thinking. With two available curriculum options (elementary and secondary), the resources are appropriate for K-12 students and beyond. Assignments and activities fit efficiently into existing disciplines, time periods, and schedules.