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.