Behind the Cover: In new book, Dakota Meyer unloads


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:



About Author

I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.


  1. To Sgt D.

    study the battle. the Army Times won’t be as rough on the Army as they should. trust me on this. i’m sure you’ve seen privates court martialed for lesser offenses than what the officer at the command post allowed to happen on that day.

  2. The Battle of Ganjgal has allot of secrets and cover ups, why is there still NO JUSTICE, for Dakota, Cpt Will Swensen, Ken Westbrook, Aaron Kenefick, James Layton, Mike Johnson, Edwin Johnson, and others on the ETT 2-8 Team along with many Army brothers that wanted to aide in the recovery of the fallen heroes…These Army men were told by the MAJOR in charge that day the same Major who denied fire support and air support, the same Major that is NOW A LT COL, and is the only person who escaped any reprecussions….NO REPRIMANDS, in fact he received the Meritorious Medal Award!!!!!!!!!!!!! As a family memeber of one of the fallen Marines, we are DEMANDING JUSTICE AND THIS STORY IS ONLY THE BEGINNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Im very proud of Dakota Meyers and for what he did and sacrificed . He was sent to fight a political war were you cant do what it takes to win the war without pissing off someone in Washington .My son and him are from same town just a small town and Im so proud they both came home and I Pray to god for the ones that never made it that they are in heaven in a new body and will never fell the pain and suffering they had to go thru and for the ones that put down this hero” Shame On You” it is soldiers like him and the ones we lost that fights for our freedom so we can post things and do the free things we do

  4. I cannot wait for this book to come out… I know his book will show just how major an effect PTSD has on our military!

  5. This is one young Marine and patriot I would wish he could come to our small project in the capitol of Pennsylvania and speak to my small class (6) of teens and young adults whom have been sent to me to help them change their lives. Ther are all on probation for some offense, including repeat DUI.. because they feel lost and like their life is all screwed up. One of my student is a former 8 year Marine with a drinking problem… often leading to desire to die… Dakota could help this one guy by just coming and talking with us in private. This isn’t about publicity or anything else.. this is a chance for him to do something for these six guys that he tried so hard but was unable to do for his buddies!! Please contact me.

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