War on Terror

Marine Dakota Meyer to Receive Medal of Honor

| by Michael Allen

Dakota Meyer planned to play college football but chose to serve his country and enlisted in the military instead. At only 23, Sergeant Meyer is the first living Marine since Vietnam to receive the Medal of Honor, which he will be awarded today by President Obama. 

The Kentucky man saved 36 lives during an ambush on Sept. 8, 2009 in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan. Sergeant Meyer reportedly charged though enemy gunfire five times to save U.S troops and Afghan allies. He also killed at least eight enemy fighters.

"It's hard, it's ... you know ... getting recognized for the worst day of your life, so it's... it's a really tough thing," Sergeant Meyer told ABC News. In addition to his Medal of Honor, Sergeant Meyer had a beer with President Obama, yesterday.

Sergeant Meyer told the 'CBS Early Show' that Obama offered him some advice: "'Get an education and he said just take it slow and don't try to make any rash decisions."

When called a "hero," Sergeant Meyer says that he rejects the term, noting that some of his comrades died: "If I was a hero I would have brought them out alive that day. That's a hero. I was just doing my job."

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell made note of Meyer on the Senate floor today: "I know my colleagues join me in saluting Sergeant Dakota Meyer for his extraordinary display of selfless valor. He may not think himself a hero, but his country certainly does."