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History, Geography, & Military Discuss Semper Fi: Marine Who Saved 36 in Afghanistan Receives Medal of Honor at the Political Forums; A true hero. President Obama on Thursday bestowed the nation's highest military honor on Dakota Meyer, a young and humble ...

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Old 09-15-2011, 10:56 PM
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Default Semper Fi: Marine Who Saved 36 in Afghanistan Receives Medal of Honor



A true hero.

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President Obama on Thursday bestowed the nation's highest military honor on Dakota Meyer, a young and humble Marine who defied orders and barreled straight into a ferocious "killing zone" in Afghanistan to save 36 lives at extraordinary risk to himself.

"You did your duty, above and beyond," Obama told Meyer after reciting his dramatic story. Though the corporal and a fellow Marine were going against orders -- commanders considered their effort too dangerous -- they were doing what they thought was right, Obama said.

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The president placed the Medal of Honor ribbon around Meyer's neck, patted his back and shook his hand as the audience in the White House East Room applauded.

At age 21, Meyer charged through heavy insurgent gunfire on five death-defying trips in an armored Humvee to save 13 Marines and Army soldiers and an additional 23 Afghan troops pinned down by withering enemy fire.

Meyer killed at least eight insurgents despite suffering a shrapnel wound in his arm as he manned the gun turret of the Humvee and provided covering fire for the soldiers, according to the military.

He had been supporting a patrol on Sept. 8, 2009, into a village in the Ganjgal Valley on the day of the ambush.

Meyer and the other Americans had gone to the area to train Afghan military members when, suddenly, the village lights went out and gunfire erupted. About 50 Taliban insurgents on mountainsides and in the village ambushed the patrol.

As the forward team called for air support that wasn't coming, Meyer, a corporal at the time, begged his command to let him head into the incoming fire to help.

Four times he was denied his request before Meyer and another Marine, Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, jumped into the Humvee and headed into the fray. For his valor, Rodriguez-Chavez, a 34-year-old who hailed originally from Acuna, Mexico, would be awarded the Navy Cross.

"They told him he couldn't go in," said Dwight Meyer, Dakota Meyer's 81-year-old grandfather, a former Marine who served in the 1950s. "He told them, `The hell I'm not,' and he went in. It's a one-in-a-million thing" that he survived.

Meyer and Rodriguez-Chavez began evacuating wounded Marines and American and Afghan soldiers to a safe point. Meyer made five trips into the kill zone, each time searching for the forward patrol with his Marine friends -- including 1st Lt. Michael Johnson -- whom Meyer had heard yelling on the radio for air support.

With Meyer and Rodriguez-Chavez ready to test fate a fifth time, a UH-60 helicopter arrived at last to provide overhead support. Troops aboard the chopper told Meyer they had spotted what appeared to be four bodies. Meyer knew those were his friends and he had to bring them out.

"Dakota, I know you've grappled with the grief of that day, that you said your efforts were somehow a failure because your teammates didn't come home," the president said. "But as your commander in chief and on behalf of everyone here today and all Americans, I want you to know it's quite the opposite."

Meyer chatted informally Wednesday evening, on a patio outside the Oval Office, over a beer.

In the ceremony, Obama praised Meyer's humility and work ethic, noting that he would not even take a call from the president during his shift at a construction job because he was working. He's now out of the Marines. So they two arranged to talk over his lunch hour. Obama jokingly kidded him with thanks for taking the call.

The deaths of Meyer's comrades prompted an investigation into events that day, and two Army officers were later reprimanded for being "inadequate and ineffective" and for "contributing directly to the loss of life." Along with Meyer's friends, a fifth American -- Army Sgt. Kenneth W. Westbrook, 41, of Shiprock, N.M. -- was fatally wounded in the ambush.

Meyer had said he would be humbled by the memory of his fallen comrades as he received the award Thursday. There were to be separate memorial events, including one at a Columbus, Ga., cemetery for gunnery sergeant Johnson, a father of three who served nearly 13 years in the Marine Corps.

Will Duke, one of the organizers of the tribute, said the memorials spoke volumes about Meyer.

"I can tell by his actions, not only the actions he took in earning the Medal of Honor in Afghanistan but also the actions he is taking now. Essentially by requesting these memorial services for his fallen comrades, he's saying this is about them," Duke said.



Read more: Semper Fi: Marine Who Saved 36 In Afghanistan Receives Medal Of Honor | Fox News
Semper Fi: Marine Who Saved 36 In Afghanistan Receives Medal Of Honor | Fox News

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Old 09-15-2011, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Semper Fi: Marine Who Saved 36 in Afghanistan Receives Medal of Honor

A true hero is right...
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Semper Fi: Marine Who Saved 36 in Afghanistan Receives Medal of Honor

Very matter of fact fellow when you hear him speak.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:52 PM
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Default Re: Semper Fi: Marine Who Saved 36 in Afghanistan Receives Medal of Honor

If Mr. Meyer ever ends up in Cocoa Beach he has a steak dinner and all the beer he can drink awaiting him.
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:42 AM
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Default Re: Semper Fi: Marine Who Saved 36 in Afghanistan Receives Medal of Honor

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A true hero is right...
Indeed.......
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: Semper Fi: Marine Who Saved 36 in Afghanistan Receives Medal of Honor

Without a doubt a hero.

I can't help but wonder about this though.........
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Four times he was denied his request before Meyer and another Marine, Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, jumped into the Humvee and headed into the fray.
One headline I saw even said something along the lines of.... "Marine who disobeyed orders wins Medal of Honor."


.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: Semper Fi: Marine Who Saved 36 in Afghanistan Receives Medal of Honor

Meyer deserves our highest praise for his selfless and courageous actions.

There is a lesson to be taken from the incident where Meyer and Sgt. Rodriquez-Chavez displayed such incredible bravery, the rules of engagement in Afghanistan cost the lives of 4 US Marines on that night and will continue to cost more soldiers lives in the future.

Quote:
As the team was ambushed and came under sustained Taliban fire and rocket attack, however, U.S. commanders repeatedly denied the request to provide air cover, under new rules of engagement designed to reduce civilian casualties.

"U.S. commanders, citing new rules to avoid civilian casualties, rejected repeated calls to unleash artillery rounds at attackers dug into the slopes and tree linesódespite being told repeatedly that they weren't near the village," Landay reported. "We waited more than an hour for U.S. helicopters to arrive, despite earlier assurances that air cover would be five minutes away."
Medal of Honor recipient highlights Marine?s valor as well as risks US troops faced under controversial rules of engagement | The Envoy - Yahoo! News

Of course our President with zero military background ignores the cost of these overly restrictive ROE. Instead he focuses of withdrawing US forces according to a politically motivated timetable.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: Semper Fi: Marine Who Saved 36 in Afghanistan Receives Medal of Honor

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Meyer deserves our highest praise for his selfless and courageous actions.

There is a lesson to be taken from the incident where Meyer and Sgt. Rodriquez-Chavez displayed such incredible bravery, the rules of engagement in Afghanistan cost the lives of 4 US Marines on that night and will continue to cost more soldiers lives in the future.


Medal of Honor recipient highlights Marine?s valor as well as risks US troops faced under controversial rules of engagement | The Envoy - Yahoo! News

Of course our President with zero military background ignores the cost of these overly restrictive ROE. Instead he focuses of withdrawing US forces according to a politically motivated timetable.
Of course you couldn't let a post go by without attacking the POTUS for whatever reason. He has zero to do with this story
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: Semper Fi: Marine Who Saved 36 in Afghanistan Receives Medal of Honor

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Originally Posted by Mikeyy View Post
Of course you couldn't let a post go by without attacking the POTUS for whatever reason. He has zero to do with this story
Of course not. Everybody knows the commander-in-chief cannot override any rules of engagement that endanger our fighting men in harm's way.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Semper Fi: Marine Who Saved 36 in Afghanistan Receives Medal of Honor

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Originally Posted by Mikeyy View Post
Of course you couldn't let a post go by without attacking the POTUS for whatever reason. He has zero to do with this story
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Of course not. Everybody knows the commander-in-chief cannot override any rules of engagement that endanger our fighting men in harm's way.
I confess, my concern for not adding to the 4 dead Marines due to a denial of fire support under the current ROE overcame consideration for IWon's feelings and intolerance for criticism. Tell me, how many more of our ground troops have to be killed due to lack of fire support before we change the ROE?

President Obama is the CIC over our military including the rules of engagement. I don't expect him to personally author the ROE but he is responsible for the conduct of the war. It is absurd to suggest any President couldn't have the ROE changed. Of course that would require the Dear Leader to accept "criticism" from military leaders instead of just firing them like he did McCrystal.
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