President Obama Awards Medal of Honor

Posted September 15th, 2011 at 3:25 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama has awarded the Medal of Honor to former Marine Corps Corporal Dakota Meyer for conspicuous gallantry and exhibiting fearlessness at the risk of his life while in combat.

Mr. Obama said at the White House Thursday the ceremony paid tribute to a man who placed himself “in the thick of the fight, again and again and again.”

The president said the Medal of Honor reflects the gratitude of the entire nation, and that he was “extraordinarily proud” of Meyer's actions.

Before presenting the medal to Meyer, the president invited a group of soldiers who had served with the Marine to stand and be recognized. Mr. Obama said this was in accordance with Meyer's wishes, because he said he served as a member of a team, and every member of the team is as important as every other.

Meyer was serving in Afghanistan with an embedded Marine training team on September 8, 2009, when the group came under heavy Taliban fire while traveling to a village in the Ganjgal Valley.

Meyer, who was in the back of the convoy at the time of the attack, made five trips in his armored Humvee into enemy fire to save 13 Marines and Army soldiers and 23 Afghan troops. He also returned to the danger zone to help retrieve the bodies of four U.S. troops.

Meyer will be the third living recipient and the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta and Army Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry are the other living recipients of the award.

The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest military decoration.