Today one of our own will be awarded the Medal of Honor for valorous acts in combat. Sgt. Dakota Meyer, a former Marine stationed with the Embedded Training Team 2-8 in Ganjgal Valley Afghanistan in 2009, braved an intensive complex ambush for more than six hours to recover the bodies of fellow Marines, a Navy Corpsman and protect the lives of 46 US and Afghan forces. A summary of his actions is provided by the Marine Corps:

Upon listening to 1st. Lt. Johnson yell over the radio, “If [you] don’t give me this air support, we are going to die out here,” Meyer requested permission to enter the kill-zone and was denied the four times he asked. After four denials, he took it upon himself to leave his relatively safe location at the ORP. Meyer mounted a gun truck with Rodriguez-Chavez as the driver.

Read the rest of the summary to understand exactly why he is being recognized today.

Sgt. Meyer joins Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta and SFC Leroy Petry, as the third living recipient of the Medal of Honor since Vietnam, and the first Marine. But he’s also the first Veteran to receive the award. SSG Giunta and SFC Petry were on active duty when the award was presented to them. Sgt. Meyer left the Marine Corps last year and moved back to Kentucky, where he splits his time between a job in construction and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

As Sgt. Meyer begins the sometimes difficult life of Medal of Honor custodian (though having a beer with the President is a nice perk), we at VA congratulate him on his dedication to his fellow Marines, and we remember the sacrifices of those who didn’t make it back alive. Thank you, Sgt. Meyer, for ensuring they came back home. Their families and a nation are in your debt.

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Published on Sep. 15, 2011

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  1. Charles T. Cauthen October 12, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Sgt. Meyer represents courage and honor, a combat soldier, our nations finest. I wish the Department of Veteran’s Affairs had some of that.

  2. Larry Tyson September 29, 2011 at 5:11 am

    1. First, if interested, I believe that US MARINE 4 Star General John Allen has taken the responsibility to usher Capt. Swenson’s CMH forms through the “system”, in my opinion, this throws egg’s at the Army “brass”, and rightly so;
    2. If I may try and paraphrase Gunny Hightower’s words (Clint Eastwood as Gunny Hightower in HEART BREAK RIDGE, I beleive 1985) “Sir he is a MARINE, he adapts, he overcomes, that is what MARINES do, Sir”, and in this case it was Army “brass” which was to be “overcome”. In my opinion, what those officers did that day 9/8/2009 was paramount to murder, and they should have been Court Martialed, and beleive me if the “brass” could find a non Academy “ring knocker” to blame this on, that person would have been before a General Court Martial

  3. Scott September 16, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Semper Fi!

    As a note, Sgt. Dakota Meyer is a Marine (no such thing as a “former” Marine).

    From Commandant, General James F. Amos:
    “A Marine is a Marine. I set that policy two weeks ago – there’s no such thing as a former Marine. You’re a Marine, just in a different uniform and you’re in a different phase of your life. But you’ll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico. There’s no such thing as a former Marine.”

    • Alex Horton September 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      Well, I think it’s important to differentiate between a Marine on active duty or reserves, and a Marine who has left the service. I know the term “ex-Marine” is a big no-no, but former Marine is usually acceptable.

  4. Dan F September 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Sgt. Meyer is not only a true American hero, he is also very humble. The story does not inform that he insisted that the men that were killed in action that day be memorialized today (the day he received the MOH).

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