President Obama will award the Medal of Honor tomorrow afternoon to Dakota Meyer, the first living Marine in 38 years to receive the nation’s top valor award.
For many, the ceremony is heavily anticipated. There are many people still recovering from the scars created in Ganjgal, Afghanistan, on Sept. 8, 2009, when the heroism of Meyer and others prevented an awful situation from becoming even worse. As it was, the battle led to the death of five U.S. service members and at least eight Afghan troops.
Meyer already is in Washington, and appeared Tuesday night at the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation’s 2011 ceremony to announce the creation of the Sergeant Dakota Meyer Scholarship Initiative. It’s a push to raise $1 million to help the children of wounded Marines get through school.
Meyer mentioned the effort when I interviewed him last month in Kentucky for this feature, but the details were still a bit fuzzy. They’re crystal-clear now, though. In the last week, he even has backed the launch of dakotameyer.com, which outlines the push and what it means to him.
To propel the initiative, Meyer also has embarked on an apparent first: taking to social networking websites as a living Medal of Honor recipient. There’s a Facebook fan page, which includes announcement and links to media coverage. There’s also a Twitter page, which he suggested yesterday that his Facebook fans follow.
It’s all a long way from where Meyer was a year ago, when he was hesistant to discuss the awful details of what happened in Ganjgal. The reason appears to be simple, based on his website:
“I chose to partner with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation on this initiative because of our common mission of supporting Marines and Navy Corpsmen families. Education paves the path for our future, and the money we raise will lead to a brighter future for the sons and daughters of many Marines.”
Expect more appearances in the future. Among the first: He’ll be throwing out the opening pitch at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 20.
Aaron would be so proud of you Dakota as you know how important education was to him!!!! We will be honoring you, Aaron, Edwin, Mike, James and Kenneth on September 15, 2011 and sending you love and light from the families of the brothers you loved so dearly….Love The Aaron Kenefick Family!!!!!
Hi Dakota. I have heard so much about you from Susan Price. I feel like I actually know you and have seen some great videos of you and Aaron and pictures too. So proud of what you did for Susan’s family and the other families as well. You are such a credit to yourself and to this country. I will be attending the ceremony tomorrow with Susan and will be very glad to honor you as well as all of the fallen heroes especially Aaron. Thank you for all you have done for our country and for our fallen heroes as well. You Rock Dakota
reading this marines story i felt tears come to my eyes.the one thing ingrained into all infantry marined you leave no man on the feild of battle alive or dead,geuss you can call it a marine thing like the saying goes…..a marine your best friend and worst enemy!!!!ooh raah Dakota you are a hero to all amercans. God bless you devil dog
Just wanted to say thank you on behalf of Tri-state Military Moms. Us moms are so very proud and grateful for all you sacrifice. As moms we know the price and hope you do should to take care if yourself physically but especially mentally and spiritually. I know your heart leads you to care for others just make sure nit to forget about yourself! Godbless!!! Debbie Nuchols Mother of Corpsman Dustin Burnett 1st Marine 2/7 golf co.
I am really at a loss for words Dakota… Humbled, Grateful, Proud. Your story makes my problems in everyday (civilian) life seem almost trivial.
Enjoy your day…You deserve it and your fallen brothers would not want you to carry a heavy heart on this day of rememberance. I will be teaching my children about you (and other heroes) as a lesson in American Heroism, Courage, Determination, Spirit and Selfless Service when they are old enough to understand.
I will do my part to honor your fallen brothers by learning something about them. You (and them) have a place in history reserved only for true warriors. Semper Fidelis
Army Veteran, Ryan L. O’Connor
Thank you for your dedication to the Corps, it’s values and Esprit D’ Corps! I am especially touched by your committment to the children of Marines and Sailors and their education! As a Woman Marine Veteran I am honored to call you my Brother in Arms! Thank you for your Service and Sacrifice.
Salute! And God bless you.
I can understand your disappointments but take in the full effect of your actions. All made it home. And for that many families and a nation will be eternally grateful.
I for one am beyond proud of you as a marine dedicated to service, and a man of unquestionable honor. The medal fits son, and it will become a part of you. Semper Fidelis .
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