US former Army Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer is now fighting on different terrain than the mountains of Eastern Afghanistan, and against a different enemy than the battle-hardened insurgents of that remote region.
Fifteen months after he stood at the White House to receive the nation's highest combat honor, the medal of honor, he's squaring off in an all-consuming battle against life-threatening lung cancer that his doctors rate at stage 4, meaning it has metastasized or spread to other organs.
As he fights the disease, he's living openly with it, discussing his treatment and activities frankly in person and on his public Instagram account. His condition, he said, presents an "opportunity" to share his struggle with others locked in the same battle.
※battle-hardened: of soldiers having experience of war and being effective at fighting battles.
※square off: to take a fighting stance, preparing to fight
※combat: oppose in battle; engage in a fight with.
In December 2008, Silver Stars were awarded to Shurer and nine others from the Special Forces group. It was the most valor awards for a single combat engagement since the Vietnam War.