Former Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer, 22, will be awarded the Medal of Honor for amazing bravery in Afghanistan.
Meyer survived the Sept 8, 2009 attack but killed in battle were Gunnery Sgts. Edwin Johnson, 31, and Aaron Kenefick, 30; 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, 25; and Hospitalman 3rd Class James Layton, 22; Army Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Westbrook, 41, died Oct. 7, 2009, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington from medical complications related to wounds he sustained in the attack. Eight Afghan security forces also died.
It is obvious, when listening to Meyer, that he is haunted by the incident. He should be.
“...In February 2010, Army officials announced that “negligent” leadership contributed “directly to the loss of life” on the battlefield that day by refusing repeated pleas for artillery support from U.S. forces on the ground and failing to notify higher commands that they had troops in trouble. Three unidentified officers were recommended for letters of reprimand, and Army officials later said they were delivered to two of them.
Two investigations of the incident were conducted, with the first headed by an Army major in the first few days after the ambush. The second, focusing primarily on command post failure, was overseen by Army Col. Richard Hooker and Marine Col. James Werth in November 2009, military officials said.
A full copy report of the investigation obtained by Marine Corps Times includes first-person statements from more than 35 U.S. service members, describing in grisly detail the chaos on the battlefield and in the operations center, based at Forward Operating Base Joyce and overseen by Task Force Chosin, an Army unit comprising soldiers from 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division….”
From the Military Times:
“…The circumstances of the case should make it no surprise that former Cpl. Dakota Meyer, 22, is hesitant to discuss his actions.
As we first outlined in a cover story in July, he is credited with running into a kill zone on foot to find four missing Marines, who had been pinned down and under fire by insurgents for hours in an early-morning ambush on Sept. 8, 2009. He and a staff sergeant already had been turned back twice under heavy fire while trying to get to the Marines in a Humvee. After helicopter pilots said the fighting on the ground was too fierce to get to the pinned down team, Meyer went in alone, uncertain whether they were alive.
He found them dead and bloody in a ditch. Their weapons and radios were missing, and they had been stripped of their body armor, according to military documents obtained by Marine Corps Times.
For the first time since that ordeal, Meyer agreed last week to discuss how he has coped with the incident, what life is like for him now and how he remembers his friends, who gave the ultimate sacrifice. He is uncomfortable with the attention, but said if he can keep the memory of his fellow Marines alive, it’s worth it….”