Dakota Meyers survived incredible odds and received Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic acts

A True American Hero

By James Turnage

In 42 years no living Marine Corps soldier has received the Congressional Medal of Honor, our country’s highest honor. One Marine survived incredible odds and received the commendation for his heroic acts in the Afghanistan war. He told his story in a book titled, “Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle of the Afghan War”.

During the battle, Dakota Meyers, who was himself wounded, made five forays into battle to rescue two dozen Afghan soldiers, and recovered the bodies of four U.S. soldiers, three of which were his own team members. He killed several insurgents during his heroic efforts.

Although there have recently been several fatal attacks by members of the Afghan army against United States Military, Meyers says he never feared any of his fellow Afghan soldiers. He says that they had great pride in what they were doing, and were equals in their efforts to defeat the Taliban with his Marine brothers.

The battle took place on September 8th, 2009. He received his award on September 15th, 2011. When President Obama called to inform him that he had won the award, he was reluctant. He felt he had simply lived up to the code that “no man will be left behind”. Mr. Obama responded by telling him that “the award is bigger than you”. He later understood that the award was not for him alone, but for all those who had served with courage and had more concern for the lives of their comrades than for their own.

Meyer asked the President if he could join him at the White House for a drink. He was impressed and surprised when he said yes, taking time out of his busy schedule. When he arrived, he was asked what he’d like to drink. Meyers responded “a Crown and Coke”. They responded, “nope”. He said “how about a Bud Light?” They ended up drinking a honey ale.

He has subsequently made statements to those returning from two wars and suffered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. He, himself, began to remove himself from those who loved him and found solace in alcohol. He has since realized that his Marine brethren are still with him. He says we must remember the sacrifices made by others who have made it possible to live as we do today. If we come to a point where we don’t feel like we can carry on, we must do so for the guys that never had a chance to.

Meyers has started the Dakota Meyer Scholarship Initiative to help the children of Marines injured in combat to receive a college education.

About President Obama’s schedule to remove all of our military from Afghanistan, he had this to say. “We should just pull our troops out now.” He feels it is foolish to divulge a schedule.

This is a true American hero who has no political agenda. He was there. He saw the horror of battle and faced what he believed to be his own death with the courage and determination to save others. We should listen to him instead of the elected members of our government and the political ambitions of the generals of our armed forces. Only those who have been in battle understand the definition of ‘war’. It’s easy to send others into battle. It’s safe when you know none of your loved ones will be in jeopardy. It’s comforting when you have no fear that someday a representative of the military will arrive at your door, in full dress uniform, uttering the words, “we regret to inform you”.

James Turnage