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Dakota Meyer talked with President Obama about his future, not the past

President Barack Obama enjoys a beer with Dakota Meyer on the patio outside of the Oval Office Wednesday. The President will present Meyer with the Medal of Honor Thursday during a ceremony at the White House.
President Barack Obama enjoys a beer with Dakota Meyer on the patio outside of the Oval Office Wednesday. The President will present Meyer with the Medal of Honor Thursday during a ceremony at the White House. Official White House photo by Pete Souza

GREENSBURG — Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer said the future, not his past heroics, was the topic of his private patio conversation over beers with President Barack Obama before the Kentuckian was awarded the Medal of Honor last week.

"President Obama is a successful guy, so I asked him 'What would you do if you were 23 years old and in my shoes right now?' And I asked him when he started thinking about politics and what he did, the process to get where he is at.

"He said, 'Get an education. You've got to have something you can fall back on.' And then he went into 'Don't make any rash decisions. Take your time.' He said he really didn't figure out what he what he was going to do until he was about 30. President Obama's a great guy. He's very talkative."

Meyer spoke briefly with the Herald-Leader after Saturday's Cow Days Parade and before a meet-and-greet event with well-wishers at Greensburg Baptist Church. The parade was his first public appearance since receiving the Medal of Honor on Thursday at the White House.

Asked if he intends to follow the president's advice to get more education, the Green County High School graduate said: "I do. I'm sure I will down the road sometime."

Meyer said he and the president did not talk about the war in Afghanistan, where the Marine saved 36 lives during a firefight in 2009.

"We both know about the war," Meyer said. "I've been there. He's the commander in chief. It was great to chat with him."

Meyer said he was the one who proposed having a beer with Obama. "I asked for the beer. I wanted to have a beer with the president. He's my commander in chief, so I wanted to have a beer with him."

Asked how White House officials responded to the idea, Meyer said, "They were all about it. As soon as President Obama found out about it, he said, yeah, definitely."

Overall, Meyer said he enjoyed the chat with Obama.

"It was really helpful to hear a successful man like him talking to me and letting me know what he did."

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