Dakota Meyer. The first living Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor in Afghanistan or Iraq. I wouldn’t even do his story justice, so just read the Medal of Honor citation. It reads like a preposterous action movie, but it’s all true:
“The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
CORPORAL DAKOTA L. MEYER
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
For service as set forth in the following
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the repeated risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a member of Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009. When the forward element of his combat team began to be hit by intense fire from roughly 50 Taliban insurgents dug-in and concealed on the slopes above Ganjgal village, Corporal Meyer mounted a gun-truck, enlisted a fellow Marine to drive, and raced to attack the ambushers and aid the trapped Marines and Afghan soldiers. During a six hour fire fight, Corporal Meyer single-handedly turned the tide of the battle, saved 36 Marines and soldiers and recovered the bodies of his fallen brothers. Four separate times he fought the kilometer up into the heart of a deadly U-shaped ambush. During the fight he killed at least eight Taliban, 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. On his first foray his lone vehicle drew machine gun, mortar, rocket grenade and small arms fire while he rescued five wounded soldiers. His second attack disrupted the enemy’s ambush and he evacuated four more wounded Marines. Switching to another gun-truck because his was too damaged they again sped in for a third time, and as turret gunner killed several Taliban attackers at point blank range and suppressed enemy fire so 24 Marines and soldiers could break-out. Despite being wounded, he made a fourth attack with three others to search for missing team members. Nearly surrounded and under heavy fire he dismounted the vehicle and searched house to house to recover the bodies of his fallen team members. By his extraordinary heroism, presence of mind amidst chaos and death, and unselfish devotion to his comrades in the face of great danger, Corporal Meyer reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.”
There’s a man.
Incidentally, the other Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor during the war on terror was Corporal Jason Dunham. Also, a very manly man. His Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously, for diving on a grenade to save the rest of his patrol.
I’m not saying that to be a man you have to dive on a grenade or run to save buddies under withering enemy fire FIVE times. Not at all. The quality these men have is that they saw a problem, and solved it- quickly, and the best way they knew how. They made hard choices fast and with the best intentions.
Now watch this interview with Dakota Meyer and be completely cowed:
No man steps here, just a few examples to aspire to.