Medal of Honor recipient to release tell-all book

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Many words can be used to describe Dakota Meyer: a Kentuckian, a warrior, a Medal of Honor recipient, and now an author. But the topic of his tell all book, is one that Meyer has typically avoided.

"Yeah, the worst day of my life," said Meyer in an interview that aired today on "CBS Sunday Morning."

His worst day, a five hour long attack in a remote Afghan valley in 2009, put Meyer in the national spotlight, leading up to him earning the highest military award, the Medal of Honor, last September.

"When they told me that I would be receiving the Medal of Honor, I told them that I didn't want it because I don't feel like a hero," said Meyer in an address at a job fair for veterans.

However, the words from President Barack Obama changed his mind.

"He said, "It's bigger than you." And I never really thought about that until afterward and it is bigger than me."

Now, Meyer's actions in combat are appearing in print. His book titled, "Into the Fire" hits shelves on Tuesday, and he doesn't hold back on the details.

In the "CBS Sunday Morning" interview, Meyer is asked how many insurgents he thought he killed. "I can tell you this, I didn't kill enough," responded Meyer.

According to the interview, in the ambush Meyer and fellow Marines took on gunfire from roughly a hundred insurgents. The Kentucky native went back multiple times to pull out those caught in the trap, saving many lives, but it's the four Marines and one soldier that he never forgets.

"I can never forget that I'm a failure, and it's in the face of the nation, not just me," stated Meyer.

Meyer said the fighting got so intense, and at one point even had to fight hand-to-hand to save his own life. While kneeling over the body of his friend, Dodd Ali, an Afghan soldier, he felt something hit him in the back of the head.

"It was just slow motion. The whole time. And I remember turning around to look and there was a guy standing above me with a huge beard, you know, and he had an AK-47, and I was like "what do I do now?"

That story continues on in Meyer's book, but it's what he's done since that has made a larger impact. Since returning home, Meyer has committed to helping veterans and raising money money for children of wounded Marines. He says his work has raised roughly $1.2 million and he will be able to help with ten scholarships this year.

And that makes him more than just a medal winner.

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