Last September Marine Sergeant Dakota L. Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroics during the Battle of Ganjgal on September 8, 2009. Perhaps you'll recall this now-famous picture of him grabbing a beer with the President on the back patio of the Oval Office a day before receiving the Medal of Honor for his courage and valor.
If you're not familiar with Sgt. Meyer's story, you should be. He's a true American badass. During the during the Battle of Ganjga, Meyer helped save 13 Marines and Army soldiers, along with 23 friendly Afghan soldiers during an attack from roughly 50 Taliban insurgents, evacuating 12 wounded and providing cover for 24 other Marines and soldiers to escape during a six-hour fire fight. A month ago, Meyer published a book about the battle, "Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War." Last night he went on the Daily Show to promote it. The interviews below are a must-watch.
But please, before you watch, read the official Medal of Honor citation.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the repeated risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a member of Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009. When the forward element of his combat team began to be hit by intense fire from roughly 50 Taliban insurgents dug-in and concealed on the slopes above Ganjgal village, Corporal Meyer mounted a gun-truck, enlisted a fellow Marine to drive, and raced to attack the ambushers and aid the trapped Marines and Afghan soldiers. During a six hour fire fight, Corporal Meyer single-handedly turned the tide of the battle, saved 36 Marines and soldiers and recovered the bodies of his fallen brothers. Four separate times he fought the kilometer up into the heart of a deadly U-shaped ambush. During the fight he killed at least eight Taliban, personally evacuated 12 friendly wounded, and provided cover for another 24 Marines and soldiers to escape likely death at the hands of a numerically superior and determined foe. On his first foray his lone vehicle drew machine gun, mortar, rocket grenade and small arms fire while he rescued five wounded soldiers. His second attack disrupted the enemy’s ambush and he evacuated four more wounded Marines. Switching to another gun-truck because his was too damaged they again sped in for a third time, and as turret gunner killed several Taliban attackers at point blank range and suppressed enemy fire so 24 Marines and soldiers could break-out. Despite being wounded, he made a fourth attack with three others to search for missing team members. Nearly surrounded and under heavy fire he dismounted the vehicle and searched house to house to recover the bodies of his fallen team members. By his extraordinary heroism, presence of mind amidst chaos and death, and unselfish devotion to his comrades in the face of great danger, Corporal Meyer reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
We've said it before, we'll say it again: Thank you for your heroism, Sgt. Meyer.