He was a Green Beret awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Afghanistan, as well as a Secret Service staffer later in his career. Now, per the Army Times, both those organizations are mourning the loss of former Army Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer II, who died Thursday of lung cancer at DC's Sibley Memorial Hospital. He was 41. Just two days ago, Shurer posted on Instagram that doctors were preparing to take out his ventilator, an often risky procedure. "Very upset to write this ... been unconscious for a week," he wrote. "They can't tell me if it will work." In 2018, Shurer, who enlisted in the military after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, had received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, for his actions as a medic in Afghanistan in 2008, when his Special Forces team was attacked by militants.
After an honorable discharge later in 2008, Shurer started a career with the Secret Service, eventually joining the Special Operations Division in 2014. He was diagnosed with cancer three years ago. "He was an amazing man," says his wife, Miranda Shurer, per CBS News. "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," she adds. "Today, we lost an American Hero," the Secret Service tweeted. Meanwhile, one of his interpreters in Afghanistan tells Stars and Stripes: "I feel like I lost my blood brother." Shurer, who will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery once pandemic restrictions are lifted, is survived by his wife and two sons. (Read more Medal of Honor stories.)