A former U.S. Marine Cpl. who disregarded orders, fighting five times through an enemy ambush in an Afghan valley to help rescue three dozen comrades and recover four fallen American soldiers, received the Medal of Honor, America’s highest military award, in a September 15 White House ceremony. The Marine Corps Times reported that 23-year-old Dakota Meyer was honored “for his actions in the infamous Battle of Ganjgal, a six-hour ambush and firefight that killed some of his best friends on Sept. 8, 2009, in Kunar province, Afghanistan.”
As he placed the Medal over Meyer’s shoulders, President Obama praised the soldier as a “humble young man who repeatedly placed himself in extraordinary danger to save men he regarded as his brothers,” reported the New York Times. Said the President: “Today we pay tribute to an American who placed himself in the thick of the fight — again and again and again.”
Meyer, who is the first living Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, has repeatedly downplayed his heroism, telling the Times in an interview that the honor is “a platform for representation of the guys who are out there fighting every day. My story is one of millions, and the others aren’t often told.”
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Photo of Dakota Meyer: AP Images