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September 15, 2011

Sergeant Dakota Meyer Receives Medal of Honor, First Living Marine Recipient In 38 Years

Saved 13 fellow soldiers and Marines, plus 23 more Afghan allies.

Killed at least 8 Taliban while doing so.

[S]uddenly, the lights in the village went dark, and gunfire erupted. About 50 Taliban insurgents perched on mountainsides and taking cover in the village had ambushed the patrol.

As the forward team took fire and called for air support that wasn't coming, Meyer, just a corporal at the time, begged his command to let him venture into combat to help extricate the team. Four times he was denied his request before Meyer and another Marine, Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, jumped into an armored Humvee and headed into battle. For his valor, Rodriguez-Chavez, a 34-year-old who hailed originally from Acuna, Mexico, would be awarded the Navy Cross.

"They told him he couldn't go in," said Dwight Meyer, Dakota Meyer's 81-year-old grandfather, a former Marine who served in the 1950s. "He told them, 'The hell I'm not,' and he went in. It's a one-in-a-million thing" that he survived.

That's all I'll quote. The piece is worth reading; at this point, Meyer made five trips into the "kill zone," manning the turret to provide some semblance of cover to himself, as he and Rodriguez-Chavez evacuated soldiers. Getting shot up as they did.

On their own authority, of course. Defied orders -- "It's too dangerous, you don't have permission, we can't afford further casualties. You're not going."

"The hell I'm not."

Nice.

Video interview with Meyer here.

Update: Obama's ARRA is trying to figure out if there's some way to add the 13 saved soldiers and Marines into the "saved or created" jobs list.

Corrected: While a corporal during the Medal of Honor-worthy engagement, Meyer is now a sergeant.

Also corrected -- he's the first living Marine recipient in 38 years.


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posted by Ace at 03:13 PM

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