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. Sharky

    I'd let him date my sister if he wanted to.

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

      Now I've heard everything! What's this world coming to antway????

      July 21, 2011 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. ranger

    I completely agree with you marine5484. Whether you agree or disagree with current issues, this is not the place to air them. This is a tribute to a true hero who deserves the honor that he is getting. I only hope that the medal is placed around his neck not by the president, but by one of the family members of those that were killed that day. Maybe that will give him some closure and tamper down the dreams he is sure to have for the rest of his life.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack dub

      Amen. Semper Fi.

      July 21, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
    • commonman01


      July 21, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Burnie

      Well said Ranger. He didn't let anyone down, and the family members of his fallen buddies I am sure attest to that...but as a former 82nd Abn paratrooper I can say that the survivors guilt is profound and hard to shake...the "why them, why not me" monster is a tough one. I wish him Godspeed in fighting that.

      July 21, 2011 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. xshakes

    All that really has to be said is: Semper Fi.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Twin2

    Semper fi. Marine. Our lost brothers and sisters will be guarding the gates in heaven.

    July 20, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Andrew

    Semper FI! Devil-dog! I am happy as a marine to see President Barack Obama Taking the Courage to finally award the Medal of Honor ! It seemed one had to die to get one ! At least that was the ongoing joke int the military ! These Marines and Soldiers deserve recognition! He has awarded 3 so far !!!

    July 20, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • TAG

      It's the CONGRESSIONAL Medal of Honor, Bozo – The President does not award it, he only presents it.

      July 21, 2011 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. Marc Huckabone

    Semper Fi, "devil dog"!

    July 21, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ex Marine in California

    A Marine doing his job as usual, as have marines done since 1775.

    July 21, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • jack dub


      July 21, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom Posey

      The Russians did there job too in Afghanistan but I don't see anybody here giving them any credit for it. Besides, what makes us think that we're any better than they are? In fact, we're not!

      July 21, 2011 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
    • scorpioman

      Roger Dat!
      The US Marines are America's premier fighting force.

      July 21, 2011 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Jared

      The Russians murdered and butchered their way across Afghanistan until every last goat herder and opium farmer picked up a rifle and fought them. Whatever your views on the war are, my opinion is no one who has intelligently studied the war would accuse the NATO/US troops in Afghanistan of systematically wanting to colonize the area. If, and I believe it to be a very unlikely if, anyone within the US government planned to colonize Iraq/Afghanistan it was only at, the highest levels and the troops all the way up to most of the Generals have the best of intentions as they carry out their duties in the war zones.

      July 21, 2011 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Come on Jared, grow a brain will you. You know better than that! Your posts only prove just how successful the right-wing news has been at brainwashing idiots like you into believing that mumbo-jumbo. The Russians were no more the villains than the NATO forces are heroes!!!!!

      July 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dayga427

    I hope to buy this warrior a beer one day. Salute!!

    July 21, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. avinoel

    No such thing as an ex-Marine. Semper Fi.

    July 21, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Gary Johndro

      I believe that, really I do. Cempur phy to you, too is all I can say here. Tudaloo!

      July 21, 2011 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
    • scorpioman

      Your right.

      They say Once a Marine, Always a Marine.

      Then how about former Marine? :> )

      July 21, 2011 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
    • 0351

      Its actually Prior Service Marine.... There is no former.

      July 22, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. Been there done that

    He's receiving the medal in 2009? The article is in future tense...weird...

    July 21, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      I think it's a case of poor sentence construction. You might enjoy this:

      A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.
      'Why?' asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
      'Well, I'm a panda,' he says, at the door. 'Look it up.'
      The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. 'Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.'

      July 21, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • TAG

      Are you just terminally dense? He's being awarded the Medal in 2011 for his actions in combat that occurred in 2009.

      July 21, 2011 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. TundraApe

    This Marine will hear his brothers and sister who passed before him singing the Marine Crops Hymn for him when he passes the gates, and I'm sure they will be honored to gaurd the streets of heaven with this Leatherneck! Well deserved Marine,..Well deserved. Wear it in proudly for the ones who didnt come home, its sounds like you understand that already but just want to tell ya that. Very proud of you and all the members of the armed services. 93' Somalian Vet Bravo Company 1/9 2nd PLT OOHRAA!

    July 21, 2011 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. Diana

    My heart broke when I read about the fallen Marines. I hate to see any of these brave young men die and my heart goes out to the parents and spouses of these brave men. I do want to say to Dakota tho, I understand that you say the medal should be for them and I don't doubt that for a moment but you do deserve it as what you did was very brave! Most of all I would like to say that now that you are out please do not hold a burden of guilt upon yourself, I can promise you that they would not want you to and that you should not feel that you let them down. I wish you the very best and will keep you in my prayers. God Bless You and as another person said in here, they will be at the gates of heaven. God Bless you!

    July 21, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Come on Diana, these guys are mo more the heroes than the Russians were and you ought to know that if you had any intelligence at all. Don't let the people in the right-wing media do your thinking for you. please!

      July 21, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elliot Pete

      Well said, George. Yours is one of the most sensible posts here yet much unlike those of all these other right-wing nitwits who just keep on trying to glorify this obnoxious war! Thank you.

      July 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Elliott Pete

    CNN, why is this article buried in a text-only, tiny headline on the bottom left of your homepage, while Paris Hilton and Snooki both have video stories centered under "Featured"?

    July 21, 2011 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jim

    Good work Marine.

    July 21, 2011 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. JenF

    I'm with you on this Elliot.... Why isn't this on the front page??? Semper FI!!!! To the Fallen....

    July 21, 2011 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
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