Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Shurer II was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery Oct. 27, 2020.
Shurer was awarded the Medal of Honor Oct.1, 2018, for his actions in Afghanistan on April 6, 2008. Members from the U.S. Army, U.S. Secret Service, previous Medal of Honor recipients and his family gathered to honor Shurer as he was laid to rest.
Shurer was honorably discharged in May 2009 and became a special agent in the Phoenix, Ariz., office of the United States Secret Service. He was later selected for the agency’s Counter Assault Team and assigned to its Special Operations Division in Washington, D.C. He lived in Burke, Va., with his wife and two sons. Shurer was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2017, and died May 14, 2020 as a result of the disease. He was 41.
Shurer was born Dec. 7, 1978, in Fairbanks, Alaska, to parents both serving in the U.S. Air Force. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 2002.
As a senior medical sergeant during the Battle of Shok Valley in April 2008, he and his team were attacked by an enemy force of more than 200 fighters. Shurer fought for more than an hour to reach part of his unit, killing several insurgents along the way. He was initially awarded a Silver Star for this action, but in 2016 The Pentagon upgraded this recognition to a Medal of Honor. He received the latter honor in a White House ceremony on Oct. 1, 2018.
The story of Shurer’s actions that day are the subject of a chapter in the book No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan.