"The office of the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps confirmed to Leatherneck that Sergeant Dakota L. Meyer was contacted on Monday evening by President Barack Obama who informed him that he has earned and will be presented the Medal of Honor."
On September 8th of 2009, Battalion 1-32, 10th Mountain Division along with over a dozen Marine advisors, nearly 2 dozen Border Police and 60 Afghan soldiers, walked into an ambush in Ganjigal. Scheduled to conduct a shura, instead they were met with an ambush.
Facing an enemy who had planned and executed an ambush from behind walls and within buildings in the village, with some fighters located on the high ground, 3 Marines and a Navy corpsman went missing after being attacked by the insurgents. Hearing of this, Meyer deliberately went into the battle looking for the missing men.
Dakota Meyer was 21 years old when he attempted to reach his missing buddies on the battlefield. Twice he was turned back by enemy fire. He and another servicemember made the attempts while inside an armored vehicle equipped with a .50-cal machine gun. When enemy gun fire hit the gun turret, Meyer was wounded by shrapnel.
Helicopter pilots spotted the missing men but were unable to help because of the fierce groundfighting going on. Meyer than went on foot, into the "kill zone" and found the bodies in a trench, where the helicopter pilots had spotted them.
Meyer found his 3 fellow Marines and a Navy Corpsman already dead.
“I checked them all for a pulse. There [sic] bodies were already stiff,” Meyer said in a sworn statement he was asked to provide military investigators. “I found SSgt Kenefick facedown in the trench w/ his GPS in his hand. His face appeared as if he was screaming. He had been shot in the head.”
The enemy had already stripped their bodies of their gear and weapons. He then helped carry their bodies out of the kill zone.
GySgt Edwin Johnson, SSgt Aaron Kenefick, 1LT Michael Johnson and Navy Corpsman 3rd Class James Layton were killed in battle that day. SFC Kenneth Westbrook later died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from wounds received that day in September.
In an interview with Marine Corps Times in November of 2010, Meyer said he felt “like the furthest thing from a hero.”
“Whatever comes out of it, it’s for those guys,” he said at the time. “I feel like I let my guys down because I didn’t bring them home alive.”
Dakota L. Meyer hails from Greensburg, Kentucky. In 2007, his first deployment was to Fallujah, Iraq with the 3/3 Marines, as a scout sniper. His second deployment found him over in Afghanistan. He was assigned to the Embedded Training Team 2-8 located in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
Editor's Note: More information will follow regarding Sgt Meyer's actions that day. At this time, there is no date established for when Meyer will be presented with the Medal of Honor.