Last week, I reported for Marine Corps Times that Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer acknowledges in his new book that he attempted to kill himself in 2010, one year after surviving the battle that led to him receiving the nation’s top valor award.
The story generated a wide range of reaction from readers. Some blasted me for writing a story specifically about Meyer’s struggles, even though he chose to speak about it freely in an interview and disclosed the suicide attempt in his forthcoming book, “Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War.” Others praised the story and Meyer’s willingness to share his struggles, saying it may help other people to open up about coping with combat stress.
Today, Marine Corps Times and Army Times alike take it a step farther. In both papers, we outline a variety of details in “Into the Fire” and what it covers. Meyer pulls few punches in the book, especially when outlining what it was like being on a battlefield under fire for hours while officers in a nearby tactical operations center repeatedly denied fire support.
With the assistance of his co-writer, author Bing West, he also lays out how the Army botched a Medal of Honor case for Will Swenson, a former Army captain who fought alongside him in the battle.
In Marine Corps Times, Meyer also discusses what it’s like living with the Medal of Honor. It’s a complicated world, he says, in which many organizations request his time and celebrity and he must deal with “antagonists” who question whether his actions in the Sept. 8, 2009, battle in Ganjgal, Afghanistan, have been portrayed accurately.
The book hits shelves on Sept. 25. In coming weeks, it seems likely that you’ll hear plenty about it on national television and other media outlets.
Here’s a video excerpt from our interview last week: