Too bad he had to receive it from the Enemy-in-Chief
CNNA Marine who ran through enemy fire to recover wounded fellow American and Afghan troops during a firefight in Afghanistan received the Medal of Honor Thursday from President Barack Obama. “You did your duty above and beyond and you kept the faith,” Obama told Dakota Meyer, who became the first living Marine to be recognized with the nation’s highest military honor for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq.
“The award honors the men who gave their lives that day, and the men who were in that fight,” Meyer said, according to a Marine newsletter. “I didn’t do anything more than any other Marine would. I was put in an extraordinary circumstance, and I just did my job.”
Meyer’s actions saved the lives of 13 U.S. Marines and soldiers, and 23 Afghan soldiers, according to the Medal of Honor account on the Marine website. He also is credited with killing at least eight Taliban insurgents during the September 2009 incident in Kunar province.
President Barack Obama on Thursday bestowed the nation’s highest military honor on Dakota Meyer, a young and humble Marine who defied orders and barreled straight into a ferocious “killing zone” in Afghanistan to save 36 lives at extraordinary risk to himself.
“You did your duty, above and beyond,” Obama told Meyer after reciting his dramatic story. Though the corporal and a fellow Marine were going against orders — commanders considered their effort too dangerous — they were doing what they thought was right, Obama said.
The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to US Marine Sgt Dakota Meyer.
MARINES Sgt. Meyer is a highly decorated Marine combat veteran. His personal awards include a Purple Heart Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V” device for valor, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and a Combat Action Ribbon. His other awards and decorations include a Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two bronze campaign stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with one bronze campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Medal ISAF Afghanistan, and a Rifle Expert Badge (3rd Award) and Pistol Expert Badge (2nd Award).
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
For service as set forth in the following
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009. Corporal Meyer maintained security at a patrol rally point while other members of his team moved on foot with two platoons of Afghan National Army and Border Police into the village of Ganjgal for a pre-dawn meeting with village elders. Moving into the village, the patrol was ambushed by more than 50 enemy fighters firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and machine guns from houses and fortified positions on the slopes above. Hearing over the radio that four U.S. team members were cut off, Corporal Meyer seized the initiative. With a fellow Marine driving, Corporal Meyer took the exposed gunner’s position in a gun-truck as they drove down the steeply terraced terrain in a daring attempt to disrupt the enemy attack and locate the trapped U.S. team. Disregarding intense enemy fire now concentrated on their lone vehicle, Corporal Meyer killed a number of enemy fighters with the mounted machine guns and his rifle, some at near point blank range, as he and his driver made three solo trips into the ambush area. During the first two trips, he and his driver evacuated two dozen Afghan soldiers, many of whom were wounded. When one machine gun became inoperable, he directed a return to the rally point to switch to another gun-truck for a third trip into the ambush area where his accurate fire directly supported the remaining U.S. personnel and Afghan soldiers fighting their way out of the ambush. Despite a shrapnel wound to his arm, Corporal Meyer made two more trips into the ambush area in a third gun-truck accompanied by four other Afghan vehicles to recover more wounded Afghan soldiers and search for the missing U.S. team members. Still under heavy enemy fire, he dismounted the vehicle on the fifth trip and moved on foot to locate and recover the bodies of his team members. Corporal Meyer’s daring initiative and bold fighting spirit throughout the 6-hour battle significantly disrupted the enemy’s attack and inspired the members of the combined force to fight on. His unwavering courage and steadfast devotion to his U.S. and Afghan comrades in the face of almost certain death reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.