In a previous post, we shared with you the story of former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient Michael Edwin Thornton. On Tuesday, it was Thornton himself who shared his story during an event in Virginia Beach, according to a feature on The Virginian-Pilot. He is one of only 91 Medal of Honor recipients who can share his story of courage and heroism in person, as in recent years it was not uncommon for a Medal of Honor recipient to make the ultimate sacrifice in their performance of their duties.
Michael Thornton was the guest speaker during an event at The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center, which was sponsored by the Medal of Honor Foundation.
He talked about the “power of camaraderie” within the tight-knit SEAL units as a basis for understanding what led him to do what he did. Thornton shared: “We loved, and we gave, and we understood each other – that’s what SEAL teams are about… We would have given our lives for each other.”
Thornton’s Medal of Honor is in recognition of his courageous effort to save the life of his superior officer, Lt. Thomas Norris. He is credited with being the only Medal of Honor recipient in recent memory who was able to save the life of another honoree, as Lt. Norris is a Medal of Honor recipient as well.
According to the feature, President Nixon asked Thornton whether there was anything that the then President can do for him. Thornton gave President Nixon the following reply: “Sir, if you could break this medal in half, the other half belongs to the man beside me,” referring to Lt. Norris, who was standing beside him during the ceremony.