Medal of Honor Recipient Ron Shurer, Commended for Saving Lives in Afghanistan, Dies at 41
Ronald Shurer II, a former Army Staff Sgt. who was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2018, has died following a battle with lung cancer. He was 41.
Shurer, who went on to join the Secret Service in 2009, died on Thursday in Washington, D.C.’s Sibley Memorial Hospital, his wife Miranda told the Associated Press.
“He was an amazing man. Obviously, he is known for being an amazing soldier,” she said. “The same characteristics that made him a great teammate in Special Forces also made him a great husband and a great father and a great friend. He was very loved.”
“Today, we lost an American Hero: Husband, Father, Son, Medal of Honor Recipient – Special Agent Ronald J. Shurer II,” the Secret Service wrote in a statement shared on social media. "From a grateful Nation and Agency – your memory and legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace.”
Due to coronavirus restrictions, Shurer will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date, the AP reported.
The veteran was awarded the nation’s highest military honor for “conspicuous gallantry” in honor of actions he took on April 6, 2008, during Operation Enduring Freedom.
As his team encountered heavy gunfire, Shurer “braved enemy fire” to treat several injured soldiers, according to a White House statement. After stabilizing the wounded soldiers, he then “began evacuating them, carrying and lowering the casualties down the mountainside, using his body to shield them from enemy fire and debris.”
After making sure they were all safely transported to an evacuation helicopter, Shurer “retook control of his commando squad and rejoined the fight.”
Following the 2018 ceremony, Shurer said he was dedicating the honor to the men who fought alongside him. “
Without them, this medal wouldn’t have been possible. It was truly a team effort,” he told reporters at the time, according to CBS News.
In recent weeks, Shurer documented his health struggles online in a series of emotional Instagram posts.
“We’ve been in the hospital for two straight weeks now. Over that period, we’ve transitioned from one hospital wing to the next as things became more and more serious,” he wrote in a message shared on March 14. “Over the past several weeks, the cancer has developed infections in my lungs, complications in my brain and now poses its greatest threat yet.”
In a loving nod to his wife, with whom he shares two sons, he went on to note that “as long as I have this woman by me,” he would always have the strength to keep fighting.
As the weeks passed by, he was admitted to the hospital again on April 30 after experiencing “difficulty breathing.”
His last Instagram post came one day before his death.
“Very upset to write this…. been unconscious for a week. They are going to try and take it out in a couple hours, they can’t tell me if it will work,” he wrote alongside a smiling selfie with his wife, before wishing his family, “all my love.”
Commending her husband for his strength, and sharing the backstory behind the photo, Miranda said in her own Instagram post that he had been intubated since May 5.
“Today he was doing well enough to use his phone, and he grabbed me for a selfie, then proceeded to log onto Instagram and post,” she continued. “Leave it to him to share his heart with all of you, even during the most challenging times.”
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