We have had a lot of fun today getting ready for the big game this weekend in Lexington. But we would be remiss if we did not finish the evening by honoring a person who best exemplifies everything that is great about this state, and our country. Dakota Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama in a ceremony today. Meyer was born in Greensburg, Kentucky, home of the famous Dumas Walker restaurant, and spent his young life in the small town. After high school, he joined the Marine Corp and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The rest of his story is best told by the official proclamation granting Meyer this rare honor:
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.”
Just reading the proclamation showcases what an extraordinary action this Kentuckian undertook on behalf of his country. The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest award for bravery and has only been issued to one other Marine during the post 9/11 conflicts. Below is video of the ceremony that took place today at the White House. After a day in which we laughed about our differences, it is worth celebrating an individual who showcases the best of our collective attributes. WE salute Dakota for his tremendous act of bravery and courage on behalf of others and for being a true hero from the state of Kentucky:
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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