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. Andreas Moser


    July 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jon

    Congrats Marine! Thanks for your service.

    July 20, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lou Maz

    The story of what Corporal Meyer did is UNBELIEVABLE! You could not make this up in your wildest dreams. I am a retired Marine and continue to work with Marines in my retirement. This has given me the opportunity to read the full write up of what this great American has done for; "...those guys (who were killed)." Sgt York, Audy Murphy, John Wayne, Rambo and Chuck Norris all wrapped up in one young man willing to sacrifice himself for those he served with. I just hope the Marine Lance Corporal that helped him gets the Navy least.

    This is a young man that makes me proud to be an American and a United States Marine...Ooh Rah! Semper Fidelis!

    July 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • That Guy

      @ Travis... Your another spoiled, selfish little kid, with no morals who needs to thank our military their service. Remember they volunteered so you can run "YOUR SOUP COOLERS FREELY". No one is taking away from what other countries are doing. I know first hand that they are putting forth their best effort. When you decide to grow a pair, then you can comment.

      July 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • db

      Obviously Travis is only a kid and does not understand the brotherhood while underfire. This is not a political stand or a grand standing video game, it is under live fire when you die for real and there is no reset. Decota Meyer chose to abide to the core rule that no one gets left behind. Until Travis grows up we can expect more nonsince based on little more than video game fantasy from him. Please excuse his remarks as just uninformed. We, the veterans of American Military, are proud that we give him the freedom and opportunity to voice an opinion no matter how stupid it may appear to us.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. elove

    Take me to mc ball im not famous but would love to honor true hero

    July 20, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mmmmm

    Semper Fidelis, Babey!

    July 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. indeed

    CNN–the Medal of Honor is RECEIVED, not given. Thanks, and semper fi.

    July 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      The CMH is AWARDED. Congrats to those in the service; sacrificing themselves on a daily basis.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. pshrn

    Congratulation Dakota, We love you Your Family

    July 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary Johndro

      YABBA-DABBA-DABBA-DOO!!! I'm with you all the way!!!!!!! HEY-HEY-HEY!!!!!

      July 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. George Patton

    I'd much rather hear about the Russian heroes when they were in Afghanistan. I'm quite sure that they did many of the same things over there.

    July 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      And that goes for me too, George. Thank you.

      July 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • wha!?!


      July 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donald

      Then go to Russia George......

      July 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC97

      @GP here's an idea, open a book or use the internet for something other than being an ignorant troll and do some research. There are many accounts of heroic actions on the part of the Russians where they did very similiar things. Funny thing is, being the troll you are, that if you were Russian you would be talking trash about their sacrifices just like you have been about our warriors, you can't help it, its your nature.

      July 20, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ASH

    Dakota Meyer -you are so worthy of this honor. Had my son fallen in Afghanistan and I was not able to have his body I would have been devastated. As a Marine mom, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    July 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • That Guy

      Two thumbs up!!!! And as Marines, we never leave anyone behind.

      July 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse Cook

      I completely agree with both of you, but then again, what would I know? I'm just another ignorant Tea Partier supporting this senseless war!

      July 20, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • ASH

      @ Jesse – I'm not sure I support this war but I sure as hell support the men and women that are fighting it.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • ASH

      @ That Guy – thank you for "never leaving anyone behind" it's people like you and the Marines that make it tolerable when your son/daughter is deployed. I knew that I could count on his 'guys' to take care of him if necessary and that meant the world to me.

      July 20, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. clay

    George Patton... your mom hates you

    July 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. vrim

    Another MOH goes through.

    One not being hung around the neck of Marine Sergeant Rafael Peralta's legacy continues to shame this medal, though.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • db

      What are you talking about. I person does not earn this award, it is presented by Congress.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • edbonfla

      That medal will NEVER be shamed. All who have received it certainly are heroes who had no thought of a medal as they acted. It is obvious that those who decided against Sgt. Peralta's actions measuring up disagree with you. So be it. He is still a hero, as are all those who served and/or made the ultimate sacrifice.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • vrim

      I know how it is awarded and it should have been awarded Sergeant Perlata, but was not, despite being recommended by Congress. Defense Sec Gates took the unsual step of appointing a special committee to look into Sergeant Peralta's story and they found a way to deny his legacy the honor he deserved. He got the Navy Cross after his family was told he would be awarded the Medal of Honor.

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

      @VRIM, agreed – Sgt P should have received...still baffled by that decision.

      July 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bill

    Bravo Zulu, Corporal Meyer! Semper Fi, Marine!!

    July 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. david, USN RET (SS)

    Thank you Marine.
    USN, RET.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Don_J


    July 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Garden Valley 6

    Congratulations Grunt. Thank you for your service. I shall always remember our MOH winner Sgt. Alfredo Gonzales.
    Alpha 1/1 Feb.68. As a corpsman, I honor your actions. Uncle Sam's Misguided Children will always be the Best of the Best

    July 20, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
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