October 2, 2011

A real American hero: Dakota Meyer

Kentucky Representitive (Adair/Taylor) John "Bam" Carney, left, presents Sgt. Dakota Meyer with a military coin that was given to him by his father.

Sunday I was asked to cover a parade and ceremony for USMC Sgt. Dakota Meyer, a 2011 recipient of the Medal of Honor. Of the 85 living recipients only 3 are from Kentucky. 1971 recipient and Kentucky resident Don Jenkins was in attendance at Sunday's service. Meyer was very thankful in his speech but maintained that any serviceperson in his situation would have done the same for him. Columbia showed up to support him in a big way. There were more than 350 motorcycles in the parade and Blue Raider Stadium on the campus of Lindsey Wilson College was filled to capacity.

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government.It is bestowed by the President in the name of Congress on members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.

From Meyer's Wiki entry:

On September 8, 2009, near the village of Ganjgal, Meyer learned that three U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy corpsman were missing after being ambushed by a group of insurgents. He charged into an area known to be inhabited by insurgents and under enemy fire. Meyer eventually found all four dead and stripped of their weapons, body armor, and radios.[5]

With the help of some friendly Afghan soldiers, he moved the bodies to a safer area where they could be extracted.[6] During his search, Meyer "personally evacuated 12 friendly wounded, and provided cover for another 24 Marines and soldiers to escape likely death at the hands of a numerically superior and determined foe."

2011 Medal of Honor Recipient USMC Sgt. Dakota Meyer, left, shook hands with 1971 Medal of Honor Recipient Don Jenkins during a ceremony honoring Meyer at Lindsey Wilson College Blue Raider Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 02, 2011 in Columbia.

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