Dakota Meyer, A Marine to Receive Medal of Honor

Then-Marine Corps Cpl. Dakota Meyer poses for a photo while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan’s Kunar province. Meyer will receive the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama on Sept. 15, 2011, making him the first living Marine recipient of the nation’s highest award for valor in combat since the Vietnam War. Meyer was assigned to Embedded Training Team 2-8 advising the Afghan army in Afghanistan’s eastern provinces bordering Pakistan. Courtesy photo

The following is an account of Dakota Meyer’s actions in a remote Afghan village on Sept. 8, 2009:

“Though bleeding from shrapnel wounds in his right arm, Meyer, aided by fellow Marines and Army advisors from Embedded Training Team 2-8, braved a vicious hail of enemy machine-gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire in the village of Ganjgal to help rescue and evacuate more than 15 wounded Afghan soldiers and recover the bodies of four fallen fighters – 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, Gunnery Sgts. Aaron Kenefick and Edwin Johnson Jr., and Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class James Layton.

ETT advisor Army Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Westbrook died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Oct. 7, 2009, from wounds suffered in the firefight.

Meyer charged through the battle zone five times to recover the dead Marines and injured Afghan soldiers, risking his life even when a medical evacuation helicopter wouldn’t land because of the blazing gunfire.

“There’s not a day – not a second that goes by where I don’t think about what happened that day,” Meyer said. “I didn’t just lose four Marines that day; I lost four brothers.”

Read the full American Forces Press Service article HERE.

The Marine Corps “story behind the Marine” is available HERE.

The following is from a White House news release announcing the award:

A former Marine Corps corporal will receive the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama here Sept. 15 for conspicuous gallantry almost two years ago in Afghanistan, White House officials announced today.

Dakota Meyer will be the third living recipient – and first Marine – to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Meyer is receiving the nation’s highest military honor for actions Sept. 8, 2009, while he was serving with Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.

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