Born In: Columbia, Kentucky, United States
Dakota Meyer is a former ‘U.S. Marine Corps’ sergeant. He was bestowed with a ‘Medal of Honor’ for his achievements during the war in Afghanistan. He was born and raised in Columbia, Kentucky, and joined the ‘Marine Corps’ soon after graduating school. He received his basic military training at the ‘Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island’ and was deployed in Iraq in 2007. He was later deployed in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. His contribution in Afghanistan earned him national attention back in the U.S., and he became a national hero after rescuing many ‘Marines’ from the Taliban terrorists. He was awarded the ‘Medal of Honor’ by President Barack Obama in September 2011. He thus became the second-youngest living recipient of the biggest armed forces honor in the country. In 2010, he retired from the U.S. Marine Corps as a sergeant. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after he attempted to commit suicide at a party. He has been a vocal supporter of legalization of medical use of cannabis to treat PTSD. Following his retirement from the ‘Marines,’ he has appeared in the TV series ‘Maximum Warrior 4’ and other American talk shows.
Also Known As: Dakota Louis Meyer
Spouse/Ex-: Bristol Palin (m. 2016–2018), Cassandra Wain (m. 2008–2010)
father: Michael Meyer
mother: Felicia Gilliam
children: Sailor Grace Meyer
Born Country: United States
Notable Alumni: Green County High School
U.S. State: Kentucky
education: Green County High School
awards: Navy Medal of Honor
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In 2007, he was deployed in Iraq (his first deployment) as a scout sniper. However, he did not spend much time there.
Following this, his second deployment brought him national and international attention. He was sent to join the American troops in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, where he became part of the ‘Embedded Training Team.’ There, in September 2009, Dakota learned from a radio announcement that a ‘U.S. Navy’ corpsman, three marines, and a few Afghan soldiers were missing after a hardcore ambush by around 50 Talibani insurgents.
Dakota and the other marines were told not to take any action, but Dakota was hell-bent on rescuing his friends. He thus defied orders and entered the “killing zone,” an area that was swarming with enemies. Nevertheless, they were determined to search for the fellow Americans.
He hopped onto a gun-truck and took the gunner’s position, while one of his ‘Marine’ friends took charge of the driving wheel. In order to locate the kidnapped ’Marines,’ he entered the enemy territory and opened fire on the insurgents. They attacked the area many times, and in the first few attempts, they rescued many Afghan soldiers taken prisoners by the Talibanis.
Eventually, during the fifth trip, Dakota realized that the missing American soldiers could only be located on foot. Hence, he hopped down from the truck and entered the enemy territory.
He eventually found the dead bodies of all four American army men. He then removed all weapons and radios from their bodies. When he saw a Talibani soldier trying to take the bodies with them, Dakota attacked him. In a hand-to-hand combat, Dakota killed the insurgent with a rock. With the help of some Afghan soldiers, he carried the dead bodies of the ‘Marines’ to a spot from where they could be extracted easily.
However, Dakota did not emerge unscathed from the entire incident. He sustained a bad shrapnel wound to his arm and later said that he had not expected to come out alive from the entire ordeal. He was 21 years old back then.
The news about Dakota’s bravery became public in November 2010, when General James Amos told reporters that a living ‘Marine’ had been nominated for the ‘Congressional Medal of Honor.’ It was big news, as it was a rare feat for a soldier to earn the honor while still alive. The story was published in the ‘Marine Corps Times’ a few days later. More media organizations confirmed that the ‘Marine’ was Dakota Meyer. Thus, he became a national hero.
In June 2011, it was further announced that two more ‘Marines’ from his team would be awarded with the ‘Navy Cross,’ the second-highest honor. By then, however, Dakota had retired from the U.S. Marine Corps, owing to his arm wound, and had taken up a construction job.
The ceremony took place at the ‘White House,’ on September 15, 2011. When Dakota was informed about the ceremony, he asked whether he could share a beer with the president. He also requested the authorities to hold commemorative services for his deceased colleagues, to honor their memories.
Dakota wrote the book ‘Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War’ in collaboration with former ‘Marine’ and author Bing West. In the book, Dakota suggested that a ‘Marine’ named William D. Swenson, too, deserved a ‘Medal of Honor.’ Swenson later received the medal.
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