Friday, September 16, 2011

The Medal of Honor - Marine Dakota Meyer Receives the Highest Honor

On the front page of the Friday The Star-Ledge, only a week passed from the 10th anniversay or September 11, Marine Dakota Meyer accepts the Medal of Honor.  As the 23-year-old Marine veteran was dressed with medals weighing on his chest and praise from his Commander in Chief, friends, family and thankful Americans, Meyer considers his accomplishments a failure.  On the morning of September 8, 2009 Dakota Meyer recovered the bodies of four fellow Marines, but believes he could have returned home with his comrades alive and well.  The first Marine to receive recognition in close to 4 decades, Meyer was humbled by the honor.  Rather than soaking in the spotlight of attention, Marine Dakota Meyer wanted to honor and remember the friends he lost that day.

The Kentucky native now works for his cousin's construction company, and - ever-loyal to his tasks - asked President Barack Obama to call back later during his lunch break as he was on the job at the time he received the call.  At Meyer's request, the Marine met with President Obama for a beer earlier.

On September 8, 2009 Dakota Meyer (a 21-years-old corporal at the time) was waiting for orders in northeastern Afghanistan.  Told to stay put at least 4 times by outranking officers, Meyer chose to charge through enemy fire to rescue fellow Marines, American soldiers and Afghan soldiers who were ambushed by insurgents.  After firing a gun truck's turret machine gun, Meyer killed at least 8 insurgents and carried his wounded comrades to safety.  National security correspondents local to the event say Meyer saved the lives of 13 American Marines and soldiers and 23 Afghan soldiers.

At the award ceremony, President Obama called Dakota Meyer "the best of a generation that has served with distinction through a decade of war."  Meyer is the first living recipient and the first Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.  7 have been awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.

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