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. george martinez

    mr. Gates, i hope u r reading about this brave Marine. maybe you remember Sgt. Rafael Peralta(fallujah, 2004), you rejected and turned him down for the MOH. he's the Marine who smother a grenade to save other fellow Marines. going back to WW2, a whole bunch of brave soldiers have done this and have gotten the MOH. How dare you, maybe you are a racist, hiding behind that smile of yours.

    July 20, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • djusmc7229

      Gates didn't deny him the Medal. The Marine Corps did, based on their investigation. He was awarded the Navy Cross. You are the racist for even bringing up race.

      July 20, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Xugos

      "Moron, the only skin-color the Corps is GREEN."

      July 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DallasMarine

    The gallantry and honor my fellow Devil Dogs, Soldiers, Airmen, and Sailors show is more than this country deserves. Makes me proud to serve along such heroes.

    July 20, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yankee Lover

      Thank you for your service too, Dallas. God bless all our brave men and women who serve so proudly.

      July 20, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. 5805

    Forget the politics behind the war. Forget democrats and republicans, they don't matter. Forget your personal opinion about muslims, christians, al qaida or the president. For a moment, try and picture yourself in this young man's shoes and ask yourself if you could stand up from behind cover and run out all by yourself in the direction of people shooting at you, to pick up the bodies of others. And do it more than once. There were 13 people in that squad, half of them dead or wounded. This Marine was alone and did the most selfless thing any human being could do. I doubt at the time he made his decision that he was thinking about receiving an MoH, about political parties or about much of anything at that point other than trying to function, while terrified, for one sole purpose, to bring back his brothers. How many of you would be willing to do that? I mean really and truly willing to sacrifice your life for someone else? Semper Fidelis Marine.

    July 20, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mug1001

    That's a beretta white wing over under shotgun right there. not the best for shooting clays, but a fine rifle, one which I own myself. these military men know how to select guns i tell you.

    July 20, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • RickyBobby

      Considering that it's a shotgun and not a rifle, I'll trust that he's the expert.

      July 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BENJI

    WAY TO GO OBAMA!!! Unlike that idiot Bush who started these unfunded wars for oil you actually have the decency to award the highest honor to these heroes.

    July 20, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paratrooper_us

      Benji – Apparently you did not serve, and are spewing comments about something that you know nothing about. The Congressional Medal Of Honor is done by an Act of Congress and decided in the Congress, not the White House. The President just presents the award, he has no decision on who is awarded this prestigious award.

      July 20, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paratrooper_us

      I also forgot to add – Why would someone take such an act that this young man did, and turn it in to a Political Propaganda. Congratulating President O'Bama for something that this Brave Young Man did, to try and save his brothers from harm. That is a disgrace to this Man's honor and to his actions.

      From a fellow Brother In Arms – Thank you Corporal Dakota Meyer for your service and bravery.

      July 20, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • djusmc7229

      I'm guessing you are an airborne wannabe, "paratrooper". There is no "Congressional" Medal of Honor. It is only the Medal of Honor. And benji, you're an idiot and a coward.

      July 20, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paratrooper_us

      djusmc7229 – Served proudly and no Wannabe, – go look at the official site for the Congressional Medal of Honor – (looked up it up just for you). People that sit at home and play MOH on there Play Station are the ones that call it Medal of Honor.

      July 20, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Raya

      benji, apparently you are unaware of the process of how theses awards and decorations are given and even considered these days. Thanks to liberals who want no one in the military to be awarded for their heroism, the process now takes longer and more paperwork to be filed than ever before. Hence, President Bush was not in office long enough for many of these awards and decorations to be given out, those that president tar-baby is giving out are AFTER President Bush made strong efforts to streamline proper timing for such recognition. Plus the fact that this administration is trying to make itself look good for the next re-election cycle, THIS and only THIS is the reason and the timing for these Medals of Honor to be awarded! For these fools the MOH is a political tool and nothing else!

      July 20, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      The award is Metal of Honor not the Congressional Medal of Honor, people make that error all the time.

      July 20, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. gpl2032

    I just finished reading the "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal and i am wondering when he's going to get his MOH. This guy's book was an inspirational read. This guy is a true American hero!!

    July 20, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paratrooper_us

      If you listen to Marcus Lutrell and in the book, he tells about the heroics his Team Leader did in trying to save the men of his team. Michael Patrick Murphy was awarded the CMOH posthumously, on October 11th, 2007.

      July 20, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Wow

    Imagine if this man was running the country! We probably would be in alot less B.S.!

    July 20, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ned

      Truly remarkable bunch of garbage.

      July 20, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. USMC97

    Semper Fi Marine

    July 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. LttlGTO

    Thank you for your valour and patriotism, Mr. Meyer. I can only pray we would all aspire to emulating your devotion to others.

    July 20, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Marty B

    Who's next, an Air Force guy? I hope the Pentagon and the administration don't make future MOH awards into a turf battle.

    July 20, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • fastfreddie

      Agree, Obama must like seeing himself on TV pinning the award on anyone.

      July 20, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Raya

      This administration is using the MOH as a political re-election tool! Yes these men deserve recognition for their actions and are justified in receiving the Medal of Honor, but tar-baby is doing the medal a disservice by using it as a tool to try and get re-elected!

      July 20, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. alanseago

    The Marine's actions were heroic. But sadly, his own comment was "The way I view it is I let those guys down." How bizarre, how ironic, that this very brave young man will probably be haunted for years by wondering what more he could have done, when in fact he did more than almost anyone else would have dared to do.

    July 20, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. fastfreddie

    OK 3 recipients in one year, Obama is deluting this honor.

    July 20, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      The word is "diluting" and Congress chooses the recipient, not the President.

      July 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Raya

      It is no longer the Congressional Medal of Honor for CONGress no longer has a say as to who is awarded or not awarded the Medal of Honor, it is now up to the commanding generals/admirals who determine who receives the MOH. Further in almost every case, the "honor" of awarding this medal falls upon the president.

      Sadly this is now a photo op and re-election tool for the fool who currently sits in this position.

      July 20, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. David

    A great American.

    July 20, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. a disgrace

    i just hope the national disgrace obama is not awarding so many medals all of a sudden to get attention for himself and his failed presidency.....

    July 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tom

    For a decade Obama palled around with an unrepentant terrorist who bombed the Pentagon and married a woman who discovered in 2008 that "for the first time in [her] adult life, [she was] proud of my country". Now, the clueless, America-hating, career community organizer actually claims to respect the U.S. military while he does everything he can to destroy it and transform it into just another leftist cesspool.

    July 20, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Tommy, you are an idiot. Now go clean your room before I whoop you.

      July 20, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • zombie

      Tommy boy, GED too hard for you eh?

      July 20, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
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