Report: Marine to get Medal of Honor for Afghanistan actions
Dakota Meyer participates in a celebrity shooting tournament earlier this year.
July 20th, 2011
12:32 PM ET

Report: Marine to get Medal of Honor for Afghanistan actions

A Marine who braved enemy fire alone to retrieve the bodies of his fallen comrades will be awarded the Medal of Honor, Marine Corps Times reports.

Dakota Meyer, who now lives in Austin, Texas, will be the first living Marine to receive the nation's highest military honor since the Vietnam War. Two living Army soldiers, Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry and Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, have received the medal in the past year.

Meyer will be recognized for his actions on September 8, 2009, in Ganjgal, a remote Afghan village near the border with Pakistan. As his unit of 13 U.S. service members came under attack by a force of 50 heavily-armed insurgents, Meyer, a corporal at the time, repeatedly ran through enemy fire to recover the bodies of fellow American troops.

Killed in Ganjgal were Marine 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, Gunnery Sgts. Edwin Johnson and Aaron Kenefick and Navy Hospitalman 3rd Class James Layton, according to the Marine Corps Times. An Army soldier, Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Westbrook, later died of wounds sustained during the battle.

"Whatever award comes out of it, it's for those guys (who were killed) not for me," Meyer said in an interview with Military Times.

"I feel the furthest thing from a hero," he said. "The way I view it is I let those guys down."

President Barack Obama contacted Meyer with news of the award on Monday, according to the Marine Corps Times report. A defense official with knowledge of the award process told CNN last November that former U.S. Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway made the recommendation that Meyer received the medal just before he retired last year.

Meyer is no longer on active duty. He said he left the Corps after his four-year enlistment was completed.

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Filed under: Marines • Medal of Honor • Military
soundoff (236 Responses)
  1. Genius

    Sad to see so many of this country's future leaders being killed and scarred by these needless wars. This guy is a hero, but it's too bad he had to be.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Proud American

      I know a 9/11 widow who doesn't think our efforts in Afghanistan are needless.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corey

      What about all the widows of innocent Afghan civilians caught in the middle? Oh that's right, they are all guilty and nobody cares about them anyways.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rokman

      Look at it this way. If we weren't over there, these Arab cowboys, emboldened by the now dead bin laden would be over here attacking us instead of us taking care of them over there. Pretty much our army cleaned out a few hundred thousand who are no longer around to partake in any more 9/11's.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vumba

      Good point. All future leaders must serve at least one tour of duty in the military, their choice, but damn it at least serve your country with honor. Semper Paratus!

      July 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Quite true Genius, quite true but you can't tell these ignorant warmongers that!

      July 20, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      "Proud American

      I know a 9/11 widow who doesn't think our efforts in Afghanistan are needless."

      Oh well that just fixes everything now, hurrah democracy just kicked in, in Afghanistan, yay for everyone. That isn't going to happen. BTW Afghanistan didn't attack us it was the Taliban which was embedded in Afghanistan OH and several other countries, moron. All we do now is set up a government that won't be able to hold its own and cost us more money, and guess what? Taliban will still be there far after you and I are deceased. Welcome to reality.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Corey: This young man is a hero, I don't know any person people in uniform civilians deserve to die in combat. The other guys put these people in harms way all the time.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Corey: This should read: This young man is a hero, I don't know any person in uniform that think civilians deserve to die in combat. The other guys put these people in harms way all the time.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Raya

      Corey
      What about all the widows of innocent Afghan civilians caught in the middle? Oh that's right, they are all guilty and nobody cares about them anyways.
      john: This should read: This young man is a hero, I don't know any person in uniform that think civilians deserve to die in combat. The other guys put these people in harms way all the time.

      John, that is because corey has most likely never worn a military uniform nor knows what it is like to be in combat. It is most often the chicken sgt.'s of the liberal army that squawk the loudest about things which they have no knowledge of and do not have the courage to find out about. Their blood runs yellow through and through and they will never have the courage to stand up and fight for their convictions.

      July 20, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jon Nordquist

    It amazes me that the recent living recipients of the MOH all seem to share the same incredible trait: they feel like anything except the heroes that they are. It says a lot about the character these individuals posess. Only a person that was truly so brave and selfless would show such humility when recognized for their actions. You are indeed a hero Mr. Meyer – thank you for your service to your country.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • MidWestKev

      +1000

      July 20, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      I have talked with a few MOH recipients and all were very humble. It is not a glory thing and many would have rather not received it because of the sacrifice.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      It seems pretty common for people who receive it while still living to speak of wanting to trade it to undo whatever won the medal for them. It so frequently involves losing a friend.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      True heroes do not seek glory, but rather have glory thrust upon them. I never served in combat, but I know I would feel the same way. This award may be presented to Mr. Meyer (I wonder why his rank is not mentioned in the article given that he is a Marine, albeit not on active duty), but it was through the deaths of his comrades that the brass felt it should be presented.

      Please note I did not say it was earned. Every Marine, Sailor, Soldier and Airman who has been presented the Medal of Honor will tell you they did not earn it; to say you earned it is to say you completed a set of requirements or that you set out to receive it in the first place.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jack Be Humble

    It is indeed for your fellow marines, and their sacrifice on the field, that you -must- accept and bear the medal. I hope you come to grips with your personal feelings on the matter. You honored them by making sure they made it home.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Harry

    Semper Fi. 'nuff said.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tad

    How is it that 12 of the 9/11 terrorists could live for 2 weeks just 2 miles from NSA head quarters in Maryland.
    This after several of them had taken flight simulator lessons on Jumbo jet trainers and several of them where on State department terror watch lists.
    There is evidence that employees from DoD, CIA and DOJ accepted bribes from Al Quida.
    If DoJ and DoD employees where more concerned with doing their jobs than enriching themselves by stealing from suspects and taking bribes, then there might have been more a chance that 9/11 had never happened.
    Since I have been placing these comments my dog was poisoned to death, a stolen car was run into the front of my house, gang members are harrassing me, I get death threats, BB guns are being shot at my car when I drive, my car is being tampered with, money and jewelry has been stolen out of my house and these corrupt DOD employees are using torture as a punishment.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy Kwan

      tad – the only thing I would suggest to you is you live in a bad area and should move. Oh – and you seem paranoid.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      We're a go. The Black helicopters should be landing at your house shortly.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shocked

      Really?!

      July 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • NODAT1

      Just a bit paranoid this morning?????? BTW when you talk to mom on the phone don't lie to her and tell her you have a girlfriend we both know your girlfriend is your left hand looser!!!!!!!! ops did I say to much?????

      July 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vumba

      Tad if you write like this I could imagine what you must say in public.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • RayVar

      Put the tinfoil hat back on, eat your prozac vitamin and keep playing your W.O.W. game....mommy will bring you milk and cookies soon.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. larry proghovnick

    semper fi marine !!!!!!!!!!

    July 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jon

    Hospitalman, CNN? You can't even get Corpsman right?

    July 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • MB

      Corpsman is a general term referring to sailors of any rank in that specialy. His actual rank is, in fact, Hospitalman.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shocked

      Jon,
      They are right. While they are Corpsman, when addressing them by rank it's "Hospitalman"

      July 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dennis

    i lost a son who died of a heart ailment after coming back fromthe Enterprise bombing Afghan in 2001 an then in 2004 as as a rescuce swimmer . he lost 40-50 lbs during that time(HCM). there are so many brave young men and women. i am a VN era vet and my youngest is a current AF vet who has served in Iraq 2x, we =must protect those who have served so galantry and with no fear; pls keep all in yr prayers.

    July 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Nick

    CNN, WHY IS THIS NOT ON YOUR HOMEPAGE? I had to go searching through the website for it! Come on! You're killing me, smalls!

    July 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ct

    I wonder if Obama will get his name right this time.

    July 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shocked

      Please don't soil this with political talk. This is way above that nonsense.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tommy Sands USMC/USAF (Ret)

    I know that you don't feel like you deserve this medal Brother, but you do! Just as Every One of the Living recipients of this Honor feel the same way you do, so accept and wear it for those of our Brothers and Sisters who have paid the price of Freedom and those who still stand the line protecting our Brothers and Sisters, Our Flag and Country, and Our CORPS!
    Semper Fi and God Bless you Brother!

    July 20, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Disgusted w/warmongers

    There is NO honor involving anyone participating in the war in Afghanistan, including the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the President who is waging it (period).

    July 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shocked

      Shut Up!

      July 20, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buffalosix

      Disgusted, you truly don't get it and are probably trolling. Politics of the war are irrelevant to the fighting man. Looking out for his brothers is relevant. This Marine is the finest this nation has to offer. These are the people that our young folks should be learning about in school – role models all.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shocked

      Well said Buffalosix.

      I'm an active duty Marine and I know all of us would just look at (him/her/it) and say...

      "Shut Up!"

      July 20, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Thank you, Disgusted w/warmongers. I feel the same way about all these uneducated ignoramuses trying to glorify this obscene war which brings only grief and heartache to millions while these fools sit back in the comfort of their homes and cheer it on like some kind of sporting event!!!!!

      July 20, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • RayVar

      You don't have to agree with the war to support the men and women that are doing the job they agreed to do. You can always go to a country that is more to your liking but know this...at one time in the history of every country there was a war. So do everyone here a favor and STFU...this story was about honoring a man that made sure his brothers and sisters made it home no matter what.....what have you done lately that was above and beyond for anyone besides yourself????

      July 20, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shocked

      Joey,

      Drop the little boy name use your big boy name...and Shut Up!

      July 20, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jimmy Crack Corn

    The Government let them down by putting these men in a situation where they were heavily out numbered, surrounded, probably didn't have much backup support, and lacked the proper equipment. Thus, Typical military failure. Too bad we can't give Generals a "Medal of Failure".

    July 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Disgusted w/warmongers

    I'll repeat it: "There is no honor involving anyone participating in the war in Afghanistan..." Semper fi yourselves!

    July 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. AntiMilitary

    So what? More condescending to our "heroes". Such arrogant nonsense.

    July 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lyndsie Graham

      Well said, AntiMilitary. I totally agree.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
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