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. Yankee Lover

    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'

    Congratulations to Dakota Meyer. I want to give him many thanks for his bravery. God bless him!!!

    July 20, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • AbettaT

      Are they really handing out the MOH so much now???

      July 20, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • breelee

      Because he wants their vote. Military is mostly conservative and it's well known that obama (left un-capitolized on purpose) doesn't care for the military so this is his way of "faking it". He's giving the awards, and they ARE well deserved but if it were any other time other than his first term, he wouldn't care at all to recognized our military for the sacrifices they do day in and day out. Our military deserves nothing but the uttmost respect and it's about time they are honored. Just sad that from him, it's not genuine.

      July 21, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. Damien

    Semper Fi.... All that needs said!!

    July 20, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sambo

    Thanks for defending my family and our way of life......Sambo

    July 20, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Steve

    Semper Fi Marine. Your countrymen are humbled by your selfless and brotherly actions.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. USMC/Ret.

    @SSgt.USMC
    thanks for your input, diff to comprehend something like RuffNutt/Pam is even allowed to remain in the US.
    lets don't feed those trolls .
    as a 23 yr Marine '57-80 (5 yr VN ) a few week ago I meet a Marine MOH recipient. first one ever, it truly made my day.
    semper fi and thanks Dakota – you the best this country has.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. SGT J

    Congrats CPL It is well deserved! Hooah or for you Marine minded people Hoorah!

    July 20, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Army Pilot

    God Bless this Marine. America needs more HEROS! There are young men and women doing the impossible in Combat today.

    July 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Another Troop

    Why now? Why not 3 years ago when this all occurred and he had to deal with those kinds of feelings without any sense of reward that he OBVIOUSLY deserved? Granted, we don't do it for the awards, but this feels like the Government is wagging the Dog trying to use this event to draw American focus to the fact that we are still at war. Some people don't get a real sense of that Stateside. This feels like the government said, let's start giving living recipients a big medal so that the publicity will generate renewed interest in military operations. What we need are definitive objectives to end this war. Not medals. I absolutely agree he deserves it 100% and applaud his courage. But what I'd like to see it a list of specific objectives to get us out of there, a timeline posted on the front page of CNN.com, and here the President say it WILL be done this way and done by THIS time so that we can safely be certain when American blood will stop being shed in a country with no clearly written objectives. I've been over there 3 times myself and volunteered for 2 of them. I don't mind going back again but at some point you have to draw a line and say, "Tell me a specific objective that we can end this with achieving."

    July 20, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Another Troop

      Also, I also realize that congress determines who gets this medal and have no qualms with our President. Personally I believe he's doing about as well as could be asked of anyone in his current situation. Do wish there was something like a "War Status/Objectives" posted to a nationally advertised location so that the American people can get a true sense of what is going on over there. I get asked all the time why we are over there, like specifically what we need to do to achieve military victory. I believe that having a system of tracking it besides icasualties.org would be a terrific idea.

      July 20, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      it takes a long to receive because his commanding officer has to write the report, send it to his CO then up the chain to the Commandant. Then it has to go through congress and then the President. Anything that gets through congress in two yeras is fast. To believe the awards are given to purely to get people on the side of war is ignorant and you're ignoring what these serviceman are doing. Their heroism is rarely duplicated. You're a fool for writing what you did. Sorry.

      July 20, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Terry Colson Jr

    Finally a great story.A true American Hero who saved alot of many people wondering where there familily members are.Thank you.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lyndsie Graham

      For crying out loud Terry, do spare me all that right-wing drivel. Other soldiers from other countries did the same thing as he did, but one never hears about them.

      July 20, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • breelee

      Well said Terry. I know that those posting "Congratulations" to the Marine on here are of good heart and intentions but this isn't an medal that is to be congratulated. He does not want congratulations. This is a sad award, an award to be respected, cherished, remembered, and treasured, but he, and every other receipitant, would give it back to have their fellow service members back. I pray that he has the support and love around him to get him through that day and his memories.

      July 21, 2011 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
    • breelee

      @Lyndsie Graham
      if you don't want to hear about true American heros like this Marine, and all of our Marines, Sailors, Soliders, and Guardsmen and women, then go move to those countries that don't honor their heros.... We won't miss you... not one bit... bye!

      July 21, 2011 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. BishSlapped

    To those who are using this hero's story to bash Obama: You are a coward. An ignorant coward. Obama does NOT decide who gets the medal, Congress does. To use this as political slander is the biggest disrespect you can show to people who put their life on the line so people like you can post mindless, deluding comments. You are the slime of this country.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      Come on BishSlapped, this obscene war has nothing at all to do with any of our rights or freedoms and you know it. I just wish that you right-wing fools would just quit trying to glorify it!

      July 20, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC97

      NONUTTS and Lindsey, you both should really take a look at where you are in your lives and what you have accomplished. What have you done for your country? No one gives a crap what you think. Your both just trolls who like to stir the pot just to get reactions. You don't care about the wars, the country, or anything else. You just sit on you cpu and wait for a story that you can try to say something that will get people going, pathetic. Neither of you, or anyone else talking crap on this site, will ever come close to acchomplishing anything even remotely close to what ouir service men and women do. Your sad, and your routine is tired. This man did what every Marine hopes they will be able to do when faced with a horrible situation like this. You will never have to worry about that because you will never do anything other than stuff your face with the freedoms that have been handed to you on the backs of others. Your not part of the solution, your just another facet of the problem. Just plain sad.

      July 21, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • BishSlapped

      RUFFNUT, you are mistaken. I'm not promoting the war, far from it. I am against it. Yet, I support our troops, because I myself do not have the courage needed to put my life on the line based on a few politicians. And you should too. You could be against the war, but you can never be against our servicemen.

      July 21, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. ranger

    Let's leave this man's actions for him to deal with. He will forever remember that day and those friends that he lost. No medal will ever replace those memories but it's the best we can do for a true hero. He went above and beyond the call of duty and should never feel that he let his fellow troops down. Congrats to him and his family and may they find a way to move on in an ever changing society. Thanks for your courage marine and may God bless.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. thomas d

    This man is a hero..period...what im surprised about is the lack of mention.....A.over two HUNDRED THOUSAND VETERANS ARE HOMELESS....PENTAGON SAYS WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO TAKE CARE OF AGING AND DYING VETERANS.....ACTIVE DUTY SOLDIERS NEED TO PAY FOR THEIR OWN SERVICES AND THAT OF THEIR FAMILLIES........YOU ALL ARE IGNORANT AND MISINFORMED SHEEP........WHERE IS THE CONCERN FOR THE ONES FORGOTTEN AND SPIT ON TOSSED TO THE SIDE AND TREATED LIKE LESS BECAUSE OF WAR RELATED MENTAL HEALTH PROBS......SMFH

    July 20, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marine5484

    Semper Fi Marine.....and stop with the political BS on this page....its not needed here.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TriXen

    I think I can speak for my fellow Texans when I say we're honored to have you here, sir. Thanks.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. thomas d

    But you wont hear anyof this on cnn fox whatever....... next time you think how awful your life is....tell the 86 yr old woman whos ww2 korean vet is dying of parkinsons and his wound recieving NO helpFrom the vaAND ABOUT TO LOSE EVRYTHING THEY WORKED FOR.....SHEEP.......PPATHETIC...YOU ALL MAKE ME SICK.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
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