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Today: Dakota Meyer Receives Medal of Honor

As we mentioned in July, Dakota Meyer will be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor today by President Obama. Meyer, a former Marine Corps corporal, is being recognized for his actions on September 8, 2009, in Ganjgal, Afghanistan, when he charged into gunfire to find and rescue Marines caught in a firefight. According to the Stars and Stripes, “Marine officials credit Meyer and his teammates with saving the lives of 13 Marines and 23 Afghan soldiers. Two other Marines — Capt. Ademola Fabayo and Rodriguez-Chavez — each received a Navy Cross for their heroism. Meyer alone killed at least eight enemy fighters, and his bravery in engaging and distracting the attackers undoubtedly prevented a larger tragedy.”

CNN has a good interview with Meyer, below.

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Dakota Meyer to be awarded the Medal of Honor

On Monday, President Obama approved the nomination of Dakota Meyer for the Medal of Honor. Meyer, a former corporal in the Marine Corps, will be the third living recipient of the Medal since the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq began–and the first living Marine to be awarded the honor since the Vietnam War.

According to the Army Times,

On Sept. 8, 2009, he charged into a kill zone on foot and alone near the remote, Taliban-controlled village of Ganjgal, in Kunar province, to find four fellow members of Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, who had gone missing in a fierce firefight, according to military documents obtained by Marine Corps Times earlier this year. They were attacked in an early-morning ambush by about 150 well-fortified insurgents armed with machine guns, AK47s and rocket-propelled grenades.

The training team, out of Okinawa, Japan, was pinned down without artillery and air support for hours…Already wounded by shrapnel before dashing into the kill zone, Meyer was uncertain what condition his fellow Marines were in when he braved enemy fire to find them. He found his buddies shot to death and stripped of their gear and weapons, according to a statement he provided military investigators. He maintained his composure and, with the help of Afghan troops, carried them out of the kill zone.

Read more about Dakota Meyer, including an interview with him, over at the Military Times.

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Helping veterans help themselves

In an article this week in The Washington Times, Sgt. Dakota Meyer, a recent Medal of Honor recipient, and Kevin Schmiegel, executive director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative, write about the high unemployment rate facing the nation’s returning veterans and discuss ways that they are helping veterans better prepare for the tough job market.

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America’s Military Profession: Creating Hectors, not Achilles

America’s Military Profession: Creating Hectors, not Achilles
By Aaron MacLean
(October 2014)

The military provides a clear benefit to the American polity: it is the country’s federal mechanism for the common defense. But what is its relationship to America’s civic culture? Do the professionals the military molds and employs in the nation’s wars affect the civic culture positively, as models of necessary virtues and keepers of specialized professional knowledge necessary to a healthy civic life? Or do they affect the culture negatively, as damaged and occasionally dangerous men perverted by violence?

…A regular corollary of polities with endemic political instability is not only poverty but also a high rate of underemployed young men. Young men tend to be not only aggressive but also honor seeking—that is, they desire the recognition of society. The military provides a well-designed path to that recognition, and works to return these young people back to society with their aggressive instincts melded with a sense of outward-focused duty. The US military makes Hectors, and works to keep Achilles off the streets.

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