November 10th, 2010
02:15 PM ET

Marine from Kentucky considered for Medal of Honor

The U.S. Marine Corps' top leader has recommended a Marine from Kentucky for the Medal of Honor, CNN has learned.

Dakota Meyer is only 22 years old, but he's already seen enough for any person's lifetime. He was in Afghanistan's Kunar Province in September 2009 when he repeatedly ran through enemy fire to recover the bodies of fellow American troops.

"I was a failure," Meyer told CNN. "My guys died. That was my whole team."

The Marines don't see it that way. CNN has learned from a Defense official with knowledge of the award process that just before he retired, former U.S. Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway recommended Meyer for the nation's highest award for bravery.

Meyer has left the Marines and is back home in central Kentucky. He's only been told about the medal recommendation through unofficial channels.

And because of strict Department of Defense rules, the Pentagon does not comment on medal recommendations until the process is complete.

The commandant's recommendation is not the final step. It next goes to the secretary of the Navy, then the secretary of defense and finally to the president. At any point, the award could be changed to the Navy Cross, the Silver Star or another medal for valor.

If Meyer does win the award, he would become only the second Marine to earn the Medal of Honor from the current wars and only the second living Medal of Honor recipient in the past 36 years.

On November 16, President Barack Obama will present the Medal of Honor to Army Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta for heroic actions he took in Afghanistan's Kunar Province in 2007.

According to the Marine Times, which first reported the award recommendation for Meyer, then-Cpl. Meyer ran four times through a hail of enemy fire to recover the bodies of three fallen Marines and a Navy medic.

Meyer didn't want to discuss details of the incident because it's still difficult to think about.

"I sleep on it every night."

It's impossible to know how long it will take for the entire process to be completed. Meyer said if he is awarded the Medal of Honor, "it's for my guys, they gave the ultimate sacrifice."

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Lisa Aug

    As the Public Information Officer for the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, I strongly urge CNN to refrain from using the verb "win" in reference to military service medals and especially medals of valor. Although they are "awarded" to the recipients, the recipients EARN those medals. Please use the verbs "earn," "receive" or "awarded." Do NOT use the verb "win."

    Thank you very much.

    Lisa Aug
    Public Information Officer
    Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs
    Frankfort, KY

    November 16, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. USMC Forever

    All you losers on this blog crack me up with your stupid conspiracy theories. GOD, do any of you work?? Or is your employer stupid????

    November 16, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. AS8342

    Navy Hospital Corpsman, not Navy Medic!

    November 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Daniel-2

    Hey Phunnie boy,use your own name! I'll do my own blogging,thank you!!!

    November 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Andrew Lubin

    Well Done Marine! S/F

    November 11, 2010 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Andrew Lubin

      Hey Phunnie boy,use your own name! I'll do my own blogging,thank you.

      November 11, 2010 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. Carole Clarke

    That's not real belly-dancing, it's the local version of a strip routine.

    November 10, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. LO_raine

    Semper Fi!

    But just a note on this article. The Medal of Honor is not "won," it is awarded and earned.

    November 10, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

      All this right-wing bla-bla-bla does get old after a while.

      November 10, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • dwight huth

        And how!!!!!!

        November 10, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

        Who asked for your opinion stop commenting on my postings you creep.

        November 11, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jesse Cook

    Thanks for posting the picture,Dirty Paki. That reminds the NATO forces of they're fighting for and boosts their morale at the same time.

    November 10, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Don't forget Jesse that the NATO forces are fighting for Afghanistan's natural resources(such as over$1Trillion worth of minerals) plus the Trans Afghan Pipeline into Central Asia so that American big business can get even bigger making the CEO's rich along with the right-wing thugs in Washington.

      November 10, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • USMC Forever

        How right you are,Dan. Thank you.

        November 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dwight huth

    This ought to turn the troops on over there! OOH-LA-LA!!!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Carole Clarke

    This Medal is not given for accomplishing a task or returning to base safely. It is awarded for showng the highest form of bravery under enemy fire. The Marines do not leave their dead behind – we have seen what the enemy there likes to do with dead bodies. Perhaps it will give the living some peace of mind to know that the sacrifice of those Marines and their Navy medic are being honored by their countrymen.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary Johndro

      Carole, I'm with you. YABBA-DABBA-DOO!!!

      November 10, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dindy.....

      Carole Clarke..
      very well written. Agree .with you .

      November 15, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |