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. pam

    boy, they are handing these medals out like candy.

    July 20, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • EchoBravo

      9 Medals of Honor over our 9 year engagement in Irag & Afghanistan is HARDLY "Handing these medals out like candy".

      Especially when you consider that only 3 are still breathing!

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

      Obama is just trying to make himself look like a good commander in chief, even though he did not serve. No disrespect for Dakota Meyer, it sounds like he deserves it.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sildenafil

      Wow, candy? I take it you've been on the front lines and risked your life to recover your fallen comrades and can attest to the ease of that action. If so, I'm sure you think it's candy. If not, quit with your insults. MoH recipients perform heroic acts well beyond the call of duty. To say they are given out like candy is an insult to every one of them.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Wow Pam....where were you when the stuff was hitting the fan. Enjoying the blanket of security that this Marine was providing I suppose. STFU!

      July 20, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sildenafil

      VA – it's the CONGRESSIONAL Medal of Honor, not Presidential. He does not and cannot award them. But yes, anything to make Obama look bad right? I can't stand what he's doing but c'mon, your statements are outrageous.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Marine Officer

      You are ignorant and uninformed, these medals are scrutinized to the enth' degree. Our warriors are not out there for these awards they are out there for each other. Notice that there hasn't been a lot of Marines receiving the Medal of Honor, this could be a result of a smaller force, or actions that are considered the norm for a Marine without the expectation of accolades associated with them. Either way the armed forces are doing America's bidding, while you sit at home and make idiotic statements that normally go unchecked. Show some respect and thank a service member when you see one, because after all they are the reason you don't have to worry about someone kicking in your front door and arresting you for simply expressing yourself, however stupid!

      July 20, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarineDad05

      @ Pam....& VA

      The Medal of Honor, is not given to just about anybody. It's a long process of nominating someone, through his commanders, then through the DOD.
      @ VA... you seem absolutely clueless, and probably just don't like this president. It would be much better to just say you don't like him, instead of making such inane statements.

      The President ONLY goes by the recommendation. HE doesn't personally recommend this or that marine gets it.

      Anyway, Congrats to the Marine, and S/F

      July 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • TedyN

      Pam, you are a disgrace as an American citizen, that is, if you are one. People like you should be thrown out of the country and never allowed back in

      July 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Sildenafil

      VA – it's the CONGRESSIONAL Medal of Honor, not Presidential. He does not and cannot award them.
      It's not the CONGRESSIONAL Medal of Honor either, just the Medal of Honor. Not many live to see this award, it's a special
      feeling just to meet one of these hero. It amazes me how many people have no idea.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      The reason for the rise in MOHs being awarded has to do with the Obama administration not viewing this as an award you can only earn in death. Historically that has never been the case until the past two decades. Previous administrations would not award a MOH to any living servicemembers, which nowhere in the qualifications does it mean you have to give your life. I'm glad to see the current admin giving credit where it is due and deserved, especially for wars they are against.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      pam, you are an idiot

      July 20, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      Well said, pam. Just ignore all these uneducated, war loving lemmings here!

      July 20, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sildenafil

      I stand corrected, it isn't "the congressional", however it is only bestowed by a joint resolution of Congress, and is only awarded by the President – hence the commonly used moniker of Congressional Medal of Honor. The President doesn't get to say "yeah, lets just give it to Jim over there, he did a good job". Even insinuating that Obama is using these for political gain is ignorant and you know it.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sildenafil

      And awarded in this case means actually presented to the recipient or his next of kin. Just in case you wish to be a bit more nit picky.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pammy Pho Phatty

      @Pam – how many bon-bons did you stuff in your mouth while you contemplated the discussions on the View? 35? 45? Then how many more did you plow through while you thought about your witty remark? Another 15-20? I'm putting the O/U for your weight at 250lbs and I'm going all in on the overs. Having been shot at multiple times, I would enjoy watching your bloated rear trying to fit into body armor, then attempting to run into (or in your case away from) the enemy fire. "fat (girl) in a little coat"

      July 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cleveland Steamer

      And you spread as easy as peanut butter.

      July 20, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC97

      don't listen to this ignorant Troll, probably tried to get into the Corps and they wouldn't take her. Prob gets laughed at buy every guy that walks by her cause she is prob an overweight, fat, lazy oxygen thief that does nothing with her life but breath our air. She will never understand that many of us who joined the service had multiple other opportunities in life but felt a responsibility to follow in the footsteps of the warriors who paved the way for ungrateful slobs like this.

      July 20, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • ram

      Hey pam, people join the military and then go to college for free, and earn there way. Unlike some others. Enjoy the security the military provides for you, as you cannot defend for yourself. Stfu 🙂

      July 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • SSgtSemperFi

      Pam I can see your as$ right now and its blotting out the sun...please put it away before Al Gore calls you a global threat.

      July 20, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Devil Doc

      To all of those that have an issue with Cpl Dakota Meyer: You are ignorant and should retake HIGH SCHOOL government. The acts he did have nothing to do with the state of this country. He is a great man and very humble. I served with him on that deployment and count him as a personnal friend. To those that have off color comments read the following: Feel free to move to move to another country that better suits your own ideals.

      July 20, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. George Patton

    I just wish that all these right-wing, war loving idiots would stop vomiting their ignorance over the "glory" of this obnoxious war and just shut up once and for all!!!!!!

    July 20, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • CNN COmmenter

      hey cool down man! This war may stink but the marine earned his medal. He ran out into income fire to retrieve fallen comrades. That is ultimate selflessness. Just because you're a member of a military doesn't mean you love war. Geez.

      AntiCitizenOne: That is down right depressing and ignorant. If you're a man of science and logic, please list all of your facts that disprove God and the after life.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC97

      @GP if you can't show any respect for this warrior at least be thankful for us that join so that the gov. doesn't have to draft you or your children.

      July 20, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AntiCitizenOne

    War is simply hell. There really is no glory in it, but there is neither shame.

    Everyone dies one day and you cannot save everyone, perhaps not even yourselves. No matter what you do, good or evil, you still die. There is no god, nor heaven or hell.

    Humans are no different than animals that have warred against each other for food and territory for eons.

    There is no escaping your biology.

    July 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Vumba

    Just heard on the news that Officers refused to help this unit with artillery fire when they were underfire begging for the artillery. This warrants an investigation.

    July 20, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Malice

    Like Many have said before, this medal is to honor his actions in a horrible situation. He feels he did not earn it, because he feels he let his fellow soldiers fall. Yet the families of those fallen soldiers, would have had a MUCH harder time Burying an empty casket if not for his actions.

    That, is why he is a Hero, He risked his own life, to ensure that those who deserve this nations utmost respect and highest honors got it. And to ensure those home waiting for those soldiers, got to say proper farewells to their loved ones who chose to defend your rights to talk smack about our Armed Forces...

    The politicians might start the wars, but its the young men and women of our armed forces, who fight them, regardless of your political views, Not supporting our troops to the fullest. Is tantamount to treason.

    They Put on the Uniform, they picked up the gun, and they are willing to DIE, to protect you, your family, and your rights and freedoms.. even if you cant respect the men who sent them over to fight, you HAVE to respect the men and women who have the guts to put themselves in harms way to protect the millions of Americans who DIDNT choose to Defend our nation and our way of life.

    July 20, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Generally speaking, you will almost never hear a real combat veteran or Valor Awardee (MOH/Silver Star/Navy Cross/etc) gloating or speaking in positive tones about their experience. Civilians like to view them as heroics and good stories about bravery & valor, but for the individuals who where there it represents a link to what in almost all cases is one of the worst says of their lives. This marine probably knew some of those who were killed, he probably remembers this day all to clearly. It's not something he probably gloats to his friends "Hey, guess what I did!?"

      July 20, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MARINE/RET

    pam/ can you read – yes it's in english – only 3 medals to living Mil. Members since Vietnam.
    your are truly a low life -back under the rock where you belong.
    USMC/Ret.

    July 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stan the Man

      HOOAH Mud Marine

      July 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      @pam. Pam, please disregard what this right-wing nutjob above said to you. This country is crawling with these ignorant fools!

      July 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • proud Marine daughter

      Semper Fi!

      July 20, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • AntiMilitary

      Wrap yourself in the flag and stfu.

      July 20, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RUFFNUTT

    I guess that we're going to see a lot more of these nitwits here post their mumbo-jumbo over what a "hero" this bozo is on this web page. I just want to say that there is no glory in nor justification for this useless war, whatsoever!

    July 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sildenafil

      Yes, this nitwit put his life on the line for the country. You can hate the war, hate Bush for getting us into it, hate Obama for not getting us out, whatever. He was there because he was ordered to by his Commander in Chief. He may not have liked the fact we were at war still, but that had no bearing on his actions on that day.

      There is no glory in war. He said as much. The MoH isn't about glory, it's about this young man selflessly risking his life to defend the men in his company and retrieving the bodies of the fallen.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Sterling

      Please die.

      July 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC97

      @NONUTTS if you can't respect this warrior for his service at least be grateful to those that join so that the gov. doesn't draft you or your children. But then again Trolls like you don't reallyy care about the war or this article, your just looking to rile people up. Pretty pathetic if you ask me.

      July 20, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stan the Man

    There are very complex requirments to be awarded this Honor. Not all who deserve it are ever put in for it

    July 20, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chris J

    CNN: Please stop saying people "get" the Medal of Honor. (You said the same recently about SFC Petry before correcting yourselves). You "get" a gallon of milk at the grocery store. You are awarded or you receive the Medal of Honor.

    July 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. DB

    Well done, Marine. Risking your life to save others is bravery enough – risking it to recover the fallen even more so. A true credit to the Corps and your generation.

    July 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Vumba

    You pukes that condemn what this man did because YOU don't believe in the fight are sad. Not one of you have served in the military because...well, your gutless. There's TAKERS and there's GIVERS and those who have served GIVE back to their country, allowing you TAKERS the luxury of running your mouth on such a website.

    July 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brad

    Why use this as an occasion to take cheap shots at President Obama? This isn't about President Obama. This is about the actions of a brave U.S. Marine. Do any of you have the nerve to say that this guy doesn't deserve the Medal of Honor?

    I didn't think so. If you can't just congratulate the marine on his outstanding courage, love of country and devotion to duty, then you need to just shut up and save your partisan drivel for another day. This is NOT the right occasion for it.

    July 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Stan the Man

    This Marine will never be the MAN he was. He will suffer until the day he dies for what he WON. We all do. Once you have been in Combat your life will never be the same.

    July 20, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • SSgtSemperFi

      Amen

      July 20, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. SSgtSemperFi

    That's a stoger O/U...pretty cheap shotgun for a celebrity shooting match, i know because I own one. On to the hero, what this young man did many people don't understand. He risked his own life MORE THAN ONCE to save and retrieve the most important thing a Marine has in combat...his brothers. He was willing to die to make sure that a mother, father, wife or child had someone to hold or bury. He was willing to be killed....killed, as in permanent...forever.....to save his brothers. It doesn't matter how this man votes or even why this country is at war. What matters is this man became something that 99.99999% of Americans will never be. A true hero, someone so selfless they would sacrifice themselves for someone else. If there were more Americans like this man, Marine...hero willing to give instead of take, this country might have made it past the event horizon we recently went through. I salute this man and all men and women that put themselves in harms way because America needs them to.

    July 20, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • pam

      A true hero, more like a fool ?

      July 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alaska Chevy Girl

    I am proud of our servicemen they put their lives on the line on a daily basis! I admire and love them for all they do for US!

    July 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      More right-wing bla-bla-bla. It just goes on and on. What a bunch of ignoramuses we have here. It goes to show just how successful the right-wing fanatics here were at brainwashing them, proving just how right Josef Goebbels was back in the 1930's in Germany.

      July 20, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
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