Cpl. Dakota Meyer receives Medal of Honor after saving 36 lives
Next Thursday (Sept. 15), President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to Cpl. Dakota Meyer of Greensburg, KY. He will become the third living recipient of the award for efforts made in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
His receipt of the honor comes after a fight in Afghanistan's Ganjgal Valley of which Meyer tells USA Today, "I don't think there was ever a question in my mind if I was going to die. It was just when."
During the battle, Meyer's team was pinned down, so Meyer put himself in the turret of a Humvee and rode into the fight five times to rescue his compatriots. During the fighting, he killed eight Taliban insurgents and saved the lives of 13 U.S. troops and 23 Afghan soldiers.
"My best friends were in there getting shot at," says Meyer, who defied orders when he drove into the fight. "I'd rather be sitting in jail right now for the rest of my life for something like this and those guys be alive than ... questioning if I could have done something different."
In addition to the 36 lives saved, Meyer also carried the bodies of Marines 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, 25; Gunnery Sgt. Edwin Johnson, 31; Staff Sgt. Aaron Kenefick, 30; and Navy Corpsman 3rd Class James Layton, 22 out of the valley.
Meyer also tells USA Today of all the attention and publicity, "It's kind of frustrating because everyone wants to get an interview about the worst day of your life. At the end of the day, I do it because I think it needs to be told."
Goodness. That is a staggering display of courage.