WHO IS DAKOTA
Dakota Meyer was born and raised in Columbia, KY and is a father of 2 beautiful daughters. Dakota enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2006 after graduating from Green County High School. He completed his basic training at Parris Island Recruit Training Depot later that year. In 2007 Dakota became one of the youngest school trained snipers in the Marine Corps. Dakota deployed twice to combat.
In 2007, he deployed to Iraq and in 2009-10, he deployed to Afghanistan. For his actions on his last deployment to Afghanistan Dakota became the first living United States Marine in 41 years to receive the Medal of Honor. After leaving the military Dakota has continued his passion for serving. He is an Entrepreneur that founded Own The Dash and Flipside Canvas.
Dakota Meyer is an United States Marine. A veteran of the War in Afghanistan, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Ganjgal on 8 September 2009, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. Meyer is the second-youngest living Medal of Honor recipient, the third living recipient for either the Iraq War or the War in Afghanistan.
Sergeant Dakota L. Meyer is a United States Marine Corps veteran and recipient of the military’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor. He is the New York Times best-selling author of the book, Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War. Meyer earned his medal for his actions during the Battle of Ganjigal, which was part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
He is the first living Marine to have received the medal since 1973 and one of the youngest. Humble and propelled by a respect for his fallen comrades, Meyer insists that he is not a hero, and that any Marine would do the same thing.
Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau for lectures, he addresses inspiration, motivation, courage, leadership, believing in yourself, doing what is right, and what happened that day in Afghanistan. Meyer is a successful entrepreneur who currently serves in the Individual Ready Reserve of the US Marine Corps Reserve.
BATTLE OF GANJIGAL
In September 2009, three US Marines, a US Navy corpsman, and Afghan soldiers went missing in Afghanistan after being ambushed by 50 insurgents. Defying orders, Meyer went into the “killing zone” to help. Through five successive missions over the course of six hours, he helped save the lives of many American and Afghan troops.
Meyer also found the bodies of the four missing men, and, with the help of friendly Afghan soldiers, moved the bodies to a safer area where they could be extracted. Meyer suffered shrapnel wounds to his arm and, in a testament to his heroism, did not expect to survive the battle. “I wasn’t really thinking I could die, it was just a matter of when,” he said. “I never thought I was going to come out…[but] that’s what Marines do.” He was 21 at the time.
During a ceremony on September 15, 2011, President Barack Obama awarded Meyer with the Medal of Honor. Obama called Meyer incredibly down-to-earth, noting that when he tried to tell him that he would be receiving the award, Meyer originally didn’t take the call because was working a new job in construction. Obama jokingly recounted that Meyer said, “If I don’t work, I don’t get paid.” The President called him back during his lunch break and thanked him for taking the call.
The two later talked over beers the day before the award ceremony and, according to President Obama, “Dakota is the kind of guy who gets the job done.” Meyer was also inducted into the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon and honored with a parade.