By Holly Olson
Dakota Meyer, 23, received the highest award in the nation Thursday for his extraordinary bravery when an operation in Ganjgal Valley, Afghanistan in 2009 went awry and support was disconnected.
Meyer described himself as not a hero in a 60-minute interview with CBS David Martin. He was just a guy from Kentucky doing his job.
His job resulted in running through a barrage of enemy fire multiple times, disregarding orders to standstill, and attempting to rescue his fellow comrades, who were already dead upon his arrival.
He saved 36 marines and soldiers, evacuated 12 friendly wounded, and killing multiple Taliban fighters within a six-hour long fight, said USA Today. A fellow Marine assisted him, who received the second-highest award, the Navy Cross, drove the Humvee that Meyer shot from as the enemy fighters started to swarm them.
In comparison, two army officials received career-ending letters of reprimand for failing to aid the soldiers when the Taliban ambushed them. The same two officers "were clearly negligent," and were the direct cause of losing the lives of the four marines trapped under fire, said retired Colonel Richard Hooker to CBS.
The mother and widow of two of the deceased soldiers were not satisfied with the punishment the commanding officials were given, said Star Tribune, and expected more severe consequences given the circumstances.