Admiral William H. McRaven, a former track athlete at the University of Texas who is best known for leading the raid resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden, has been selected as recipient of the 2013 Great American Patriot Award.
The honor, announced Thursday, will be presented during halftime of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Dec. 30 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth (10:45 a.m., ESPN). The contest will pit Navy (6-4) against an opponent from the Mountain West Conference.
The award is presented annually to a recipient who has spent his or her career serving the common good of the U.S. and has “gone above the call of duty to serve and protect this country.” McRaven, a native of Pinehurst, N.C., oversaw the organization and execution of the Navy SEAL team raid (Operation Neptune Spear) that resulted in Bin Laden’s death in 2011.
He currently serves as Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. His duties include overseeing the readiness of U.S. special operations forces worldwide.
In a statement, McRaven said: “I am honored to receive this prestigious award. We have a professional and moral obligation to take care of our warriors and their families.”
Tickets for the Armed Forces Bowl are available at www.armedforcesbowl.com.
_ Jimmy Burch