Cpl. Dakota Meyer saved the lives of 36 soldiers and will receive the Medal of Honor ribbon from the Marine Corps after driving into a firefight with insurgents in Afghanistan on September 8th, 2009.
In an interview about that day Meyer said, “I don’t think there was ever a question in my mind if I was going to die… It was just when.”
USA Today describes the chaos into which the brave young man headed: Inside the narrow valley, Taliban insurgents were dug into the high ground and hidden inside a village, pouring down deadly fire at Afghan forces and their American advisers. Armed militants swarmed into the low ground to try to finish off the troops… Meyer’s team was pinned down near the village.
He wasn’t going to wait and see whether they would get out… Meyer set himself in the turret of a Humvee and rode straight into the firefight, taking fire from all directions.
During about six hours of chaotic fighting, he killed eight Taliban militants and provided cover for Afghan and U.S. servicemen to escape the ambush, according to a Marine Corps account of the events.
Meyer saved the lives of 13 U.S. troops and 23 Afghan soldiers that day. Meyer, who said he couldn’t “sit back and watch” his buddies get slaughtered, explained that he put himself in harm’s way so many times simply because his “best friends were in there getting shot at.”
Next week, President Barack Obama will award him the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest medal for bravery. During the ceremony, Meyer will become the third living recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Meyer said that what he did was an easy decision to make.