It comes of untold heroism, against peril of warfare. Service members are not awarded this honor; they are bestowed it.
It is the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest military honor given for valor to an individual serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The medal is generally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States, in the name of Congress.
Today President Barack Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Marine Sgt. Dakota L. Meyer at the White House.
His leadership, compassion and unyielding drive under the worst situations are what makes America’s military the world’s finest.
While he will be known by most for his heroic actions that took place in Afghanistan on Sept. 8, 2009, he will be remembered by some for the heroic actions he took during his high school years in Columbia, Kentucky. He was a star athlete, but also stood out from his peers by making an impact on the lives of special needs students, including those with autism. His drive and determination to make a difference for children with autism is both admired and instilled by those on the frontlines of helping our military families deal with autism spectrum disorder.
American Military Families Autism Support, a grassroots effort by military families for military families, salutes him for his service, his honor and the many ways he made life better for those around him, before, during and after his military service.
Below is the citation:
For service as set forth in the following
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009. Corporal Meyer maintained security at a patrol rally point while other members of his team moved on foot with two platoons of Afghan National Army and Border Police into the village of Ganjgal for a pre-dawn meeting with village elders. Moving into the village, the patrol was ambushed by more than 50 enemy fighters firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and machine guns from houses and fortified positions on the slopes above. Hearing over the radio that four U.S. team members were cut off, Corporal Meyer seized the initiative. With a fellow Marine driving, Corporal Meyer took the exposed gunner’s position in a gun-truck as they drove down the steeply terraced terrain in a daring attempt to disrupt the enemy attack and locate the trapped U.S. team. Disregarding intense enemy fire now concentrated on their lone vehicle, Corporal Meyer killed a number of enemy fighters with the mounted machine guns and his rifle, some at near point blank range, as he and his driver made three solo trips into the ambush area. During the first two trips, he and his driver evacuated two dozen Afghan soldiers, many of whom were wounded. When one machine gun became inoperable, he directed a return to the rally point to switch to another gun-truck for a third trip into the ambush area where his accurate fire directly supported the remaining U.S. personnel and Afghan soldiers fighting their way out of the ambush. Despite a shrapnel wound to his arm, Corporal Meyer made two more trips into the ambush area in a third gun-truck accompanied by four other Afghan vehicles to recover more wounded Afghan soldiers and search for the missing U.S. team members. Still under heavy enemy fire, he dismounted the vehicle on the fifth trip and moved on foot to locate and recover the bodies of his team members. Corporal Meyer’s daring initiative and bold fighting spirit throughout the 6-hour battle significantly disrupted the enemy’s attack and inspired the members of the combined force to fight on. His unwavering courage and steadfast devotion to his U.S. and Afghan comrades in the face of almost certain death reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.