Today, Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. If you missed this story amidst news stories about passing bills, growing deficits and Solyndra, please read on.
The setting was the remote Afghan village of Ganjigal, on the Pakistan border, where elders had requested aid in repairing a mosque. Hoping to win hearts and minds, a U.S.-trained Afghan battalion agreed to help. At dawn, about 100 Afghan soldiers and a dozen U.S. Marine advisers entered the valley where Ganjigal is found, picking their way up a narrow, rocky wash toward the stone houses dug into the far end.
It was a setup. Hidden inside the houses and along the wash were 60 jihadists from Pakistan. The ambushers opened fire with machine guns, mortars and rockets. Immediately the foot patrol was pinned down and taking casualities.
Back at the valley’s entrance, 21 year-old Cpl. Meyer listened to radio calls for artillery fire that were refused by officers at higher headquarters due to concerns for endangering villagers. Cpl. Meyer hopped into the gun turret of a Humvee and persuaded a fellow adviser, Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, to drive him straight into the battle.
When the Humvee lurched into the wash, Cpl. Meyer saw the bodies of roughly a dozen Afghan soldiers strewn across the terrain, some dead and others crying. With bullets striking his truck, he leaped out, stuffed five wounded Afghans inside, and then hopped back up behind the machine gun and hammered away as the pulverized vehicle crawled out of the wash.
Leaving the wounded in the rear, Cpl. Meyer and Sgt. Rodriguez-Chavez swapped Humvees. This time the enemy was waiting in a dry streambed. Rocket-propelled grenades and machine-gun bullets followed Cpl. Meyer as he repeatedly left his armored turret to load the truck with wounded Afghan soldiers…
When Cpl, Meyer and Sgt. Rodriguez-Chavez again dropped off the wounded in the rear, they bumped into a backup American platoon in armored vehicles. The platoon refused to join them, so they went back in for the third time with no backup, driving into a torrent of automatic-weapons fire so a group of trapped American advisers could escape…
Pulling back out, Cpl. Meyer took count. Four advisers were still missing. So he gathered those still willing to risk death…They drove back into the cauldron a fourth time. After seven hours of fighting, Cpl. Meyer found his four missing comrades, dead.
Thank you Cpl. Meyer for your service.