Thursday, September 15, 2011

An American Hero

Today the Medal of Honor will be awarded to a true American hero, Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer.

Mr. Meyer refers to this award as being recognized for what happened on the worst day of his life.

The Afghan Rescue Mission Behind Today's Medal of Honor is worth reading in its entirety.

In part it reads as follows: "As for Dakota Meyer, his Medal of Honor citation speaks for itself. Ignoring withering fire, he had carried 12 wounded Afghans to safety and covered the withdrawal of 24 other Americans and Afghans. He had killed at least eight enemy fighters. He would not be refused in battle.

Men do not suddenly acquire unshakable determination to face almost certain death. At the age of four, young Dakota wanted to drive the old tractor on the family farm in Kentucky. His father told him he had to be old enough to turn the hand crank. An hour later, the tractor roared to life—Dakota had repeatedly jumped from the tractor hood onto the crank until it turned over. When he was five, he solemnly assured his grandmother that he would guard her against robbers. A rugged athlete in high school, he also tutored autistic students. He volunteered for Afghanistan as his second combat tour and risked death to rescue Afghans as well as Americans.

Cpl. Meyer set the example, but he could not have succeeded alone. Others of like mind joined him. Their shared tenacity wasn't rooted solely in fighting for their fellow squad members. In fact, the core group at the end of the fight didn't know each other that well. Capt. Swenson had only a passing acquaintance with Cpl. Meyer, while Lt. Fabayo and Sgt. Rodriquez-Chavez lived at a different base.

Today's ceremony should be a source of pride for all Americans, because Ganjigal wasn't about one warrior. Inside that village on the Pakistan border, the defining values of America—individual initiative, comradeship, valor and determination to prevail despite any odds—were on display."

This bravery makes me even more proud to be called an American.

Thanks. Bob.

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