Mar 15, 2015

Heroes: Dakota Louis Meyer, United States Marine Corps

Dakota Louis Meyer, born on June 26th, 1988 in Kentucky, is a veteran of the US Marine Corps and recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions during the Battle of Ganjgal, Kunar Province, Afghanistan on September 8, 2009.
Meyer's MOH citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009. Corporal Meyer maintained security at a patrol rally point while other members of his team moved on foot with two platoons of Afghan National Army and Border Police into the village of Ganjgal for a pre-dawn meeting with village elders. Moving into the village, the patrol was ambushed by more than 50 enemy fighters firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and machine guns from houses and fortified positions on the slopes above. Hearing over the radio that four U.S. team members were cut off, Corporal Meyer seized the initiative.

With a fellow Marine driving, Corporal Meyer took the exposed gunner's position in a gun-truck as they drove down the steeply terraced terrain in a daring attempt to disrupt the enemy attack and locate the trapped U.S. team. Disregarding intense enemy fire now concentrated on their lone vehicle, Corporal Meyer killed a number of enemy fighters with the mounted machine guns and his rifle, some at near point blank range, as he and his driver made three solo trips into the ambush area. During the first two trips, he and his driver evacuated two dozen Afghan soldiers, many of whom were wounded. When one machine gun became inoperable, he directed a return to the rally point to switch to another gun-truck for a third trip into the ambush area where his accurate fire directly supported the remaining U.S. personnel and Afghan soldiers fighting their way out of the ambush. Despite a shrapnel wound to his arm, Corporal Meyer made two more trips into the ambush area in a third gun-truck accompanied by four other Afghan vehicles to recover more wounded Afghan soldiers and search for the missing U.S. team members. Still under heavy enemy fire, he dismounted the vehicle on the fifth trip and moved on foot to locate and recover the bodies of his team members. Corporal Meyer's daring initiative and bold fighting spirit throughout the 6-hour battle significantly disrupted the enemy's attack and inspired the members of the combined force to fight on. His unwavering courage and steadfast devotion to his U.S. and Afghan comrades in the face of almost certain death reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
FoxNews announced that Dakota had become engaged to Bristol Palin, daughter of former Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin on March 13th, 2015.
Dakota came to Alaska to film Amazing America with Sarah Palin in 2014. During that trip he met Tripp, Bristol's son and revisited Alaska. Bristol visited Dakota's family in Kentucky. Dakota proposed and Bristol accepted. She was quoted saying that he's wonderful with Tripp and proud to marry him and that he's so romantic. Dakota proposed at a Rascal Flatts concert in Las Vegas and lead singer, Gary LeVoc dedicated the song, Bless the Broken Road and then Dakota got down on one knee and proposed. Bristol is the author of Not Afraid of Life.
You can see photos by Shealah Craighead at Patheos.

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