GREENSBURG, Ky. — It has been a long journey.
Dakota Meyer will receive the Medal of Honor on Sept. 15, two years after he braved enemy fire multiple times in Afghanistan in attempt to save fellow U.S. service members in Ganjgal, Afghanistan. He made it out of the valley alive, and they didn’t. It’s a tough situation to digest.
Marine Corps Times readers know the story well by now — various aspects of it have led me to write three cover stories since early last year, including a profile on Meyer.
With the White House announcement now official, however, I made my way down to Meyer’s hometown this week with staff photographer Chris Maddaloni.
We met him at his grandparents’ farm Tuesday in this rural town of 2,500 people, sitting in their living room to discuss the battle, its aftermath and how he handles all the attention. An excerpt of the interview is available here:
We’ll have a lot more in next week’s print edition of Marine Corps Times, but I thought it was worth sharing some personal observations here.
Meyer has taken the time to do at least 20 interviews since the White House’s announcement — a heavy workload that must be both monotonous and exhausting. Still, he sits dutifully, answering questions from reporters — some of whom clearly haven’t done their research and ask dumb questions, based on a quick Google search.
Meyer still loves to crack jokes, and clearly has a great relationship with his grandparents, Dwight and Jean Meyer. Married 58 years, they’re planning to fly to Washington for the ceremony. They proudly shared their recollection of the Korean War, which Dwight served in as a Marine. His haircut is still squared away, snow-white hair and all.