President Obama will award the Medal of Honor today to former active-duty Marine Corps Cpl. Dakota Meyer “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.”
Meyer will receive the nation’s highest military honor for his actions while serving in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in September 2009. Meyer repeatedly braved enemy fire during six hours of fighting in an attempt to rescue four of his comrades who had gone missing in an ambush.
Ultimately, Meyer helped rescue 12 Afghan service members who were caught in the firefight, killed multiple Taliban fighters and recovered the bodies of his four friends whose lives were lost in the fight.
The 23-year-old Kentucky native will be the third living recipient, and the first Marine, to receive the honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. It has been 38 years since a Marine was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Meyer met with the president at the White House Wednesday, ahead of the official ceremony today. The two enjoyed a beer together, at Meyer’s request.
In addition to awarding the Medal of Honor, Obama will also meet with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner today and spend this evening at two DNC fundraisers in Washington, D.C.