Our nation can proudly add former Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer to the select list of Americans who have received the Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest military award.
The White House announced recently that 23-year-old Meyer, of Kentucky, will be presented the award in September.
He is the first living Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor since 1973.
Meyer earned that coveted distinction for his brave actions in Afghanistan on Sept. 9, 2009.
Having learned that three Marines and a Navy corpsman were missing in a mountainous area held by the radical Muslim Taliban, Meyer again and again charged into the area despite massive enemy fire.
Tragically, the missing service members had been killed, but Meyer was able to locate their bodies and remove them from the area with the aid of Afghan troops.
All told, he braved enemy fire an incredible five times on that day in 2009.
Author Bing West wrote of the almost unimaginable courage that required.
“For a man to charge into fire once requires grit that is instinctive in few men,” he wrote. “To do so a second time requires inner resolve beyond instinct; to repeat a third time is courage above and beyond any call of duty; to go in a fourth time is to know you will die; to go in a fifth time is beyond comprehension.”
We join with the rest of our country in expressing gratitude for Meyer’s courageous service, and we salute him as the most recent member of our military to earn the Medal of Honor.