Marine's actions tribute to nation, camaraderie

July 22, 2011 

Dakota Meyer says he's "absolutely the furthest thing from a hero."

But military authorities and President Barack Obama think otherwise and Meyer will become the first living Marine in 41 years to receive the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration awarded by our government.

Meyer, a native of Greensburg and 2006 graduate of Green County High School, is being recognized for his courageous commitment to the Marine pledge to leave no man behind.

In September, 2009 a patrol going to the village of Ganjgal in eastern Afghanistan to meet with village elders was hit by an ambush. It was two hours before a tactical operations center responded to repeated pleas for help from the troops on the ground and losses were heavy. A subsequent military investigation found that "negligent" leadership contributed "directly to the loss of life."

Meyer, wounded by shrapnel himself, went into a ravine under heavy fire to find three missing Marines and a Navy corpsman. All the men were dead but Meyer helped carry their bodies out, still under heavy fire.

Meyer insists that he was simply "an ordinary guy who got put in extraordinary circumstances and just did his job."

The recognition, he says, isn't for him but for the men who died.

"The main thing we need to get from that day is that those guys died heroes, and they are greatly missed."

We honor Meyer's dead comrades but also this living man who made sure they weren't left on the field of battle.

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