Marine to receive Medal of Honor in September
Dakota Meyer, 23, a scout-sniper from Columbia, Ky., fought through fire from enemy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades to help rescue and evacuate more than 15 wounded Afghan soldiers and recover the bodies of four American service personnel. The incident occurred Sept. 8, 2009, in a remote mountainous village during an hours-long firefight with Taliban fighters.
Meyer’s heroism is detailed in the book “The Wrong War” by Bing West, former Marine and former assistant secretary of Defense. West said that Meyer dominated the battlefield by fearlessly pumping rifle and machine-gun rounds into enemy positions during the rescue attempt. At the time, Meyer was a corporal, the most junior advisor in the firefight. Meyer is now part of the inactive ready reserve of the Marine Corps Reserve.
Meyer will be only the third living recipient -- and first living Marine -- to be awarded the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq or Afghanistan. He also deployed to Iraq. The White House announced last month that Meyer would receive the nation's highest military honor.
“Sgt. Meyer embodies all that is good about of nation’s corps of Marines,” said Commandant Gen. James Amos. “He is a living example of the brave young men and women whose service, fidelity and sacrifice make us so proud.”
Meyer has declined to consider himself a hero. “I didn’t do anything more than any other Marine would,” he has said. “I was put in an extraordinary circumstance and I just did my job.”
Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Dakota Meyer. Credit: Marine Corps.