Marine showed courage of true American patriot

Published 9:23 am Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On Thursday, Sgt. Dakota Meyer became the first living Marine in history to receive the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award.

After the Taliban ambushed his patrol in Afghanistan on Sept. 8, 2009, Meyer made four trips in a Humvee through intense fire to evacuate 36 U.S. and Afghan troops, saving their lives. He went back a fifth time, this time wounded and on foot, to recover the bodies of four comrades.

Meyer, a 23-year-old Kentuckian … hasn’t been thinking about his own glory; he has said he is uncomfortable with the honor and feels guilty he survived that day when others didn’t.

Email newsletter signup

Meyer insisted that five military members killed in the attack be given ceremonies in their hometowns coinciding with the Medal of Honor ceremony. That says quite a bit about him.

Those honored posthumously are 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, 25, of Virginia Beach, Va.; Staff Sgt. Aaron Kenefick, 30, of Roswell, Ga.; Corpsman James Layton, 22, of Riverbank, Calif.; Gunnery Sgt. Edwin Wayne Johnson Jr., 31, of Columbus, Ga.; and Army Sgt. Kenneth W. Westbrook, 41, of Shiprock, N.M.

They, too, are heroes.

The Columbus Dispatch