OK, civvies, listen up.
There has been a recent suggestion in some newspapers that fellow Marines may have padded their accounts of the heroism displayed by Sgt. Dakota Meyer during an ambush and six-hour battle in Afghanistan. The goal being to get the service the Medal of Honor in a dishonorable way.
According to the McClatchy report:
"Crucial parts of the story of Meyer’s deeds that the Marine Corps publicized and Obama described to the nation are untrue, unsubstantiated or exaggerated, according to dozens of military documents McClatchy Newspapers examined. Sworn statements by Meyer and others who participated in the battle indicate that he didn’t save as many people, kill as many enemy fighters or lead the final push to retrieve his dead comrades, as the record says."
President Obama awarded the medal to Meyer during a White House ceremony in mid-September. And we detailed with photos the actions of Meyer in our story right here, in which he killed numerous enemy, rescued 36 fellow soldiers and recovered the bodies of four others.
This is what passes for a day's work for our military folks, all volunteers.
Marine Commandant James Amos ordered an investigation and just released an eloquent statement of explanation, which we publish below here in full.
Now, look into General Amos' eyes. First thought: Glad he's on our side. Second, do those eyes suggest he's slinging baloney here? Even if you thought he was, would you dare say so in his presence?
Didn't think so. Here's General Amos' signed statement:
Headquarters Marine Corps
WASHINGTON — The series of McClatchy news articles has cast doubt on the decision to award the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Dakota Meyer.
I stand firmly behind the process and the decision to award the Medal of Honor to Sgt Meyer.
The Medal of Honor is our nation's highest award for bravery.
Fittingly, it involves the most demanding of investigations and multiple levels of review. This process, followed scrupulously in this and other cases, is designed to confirm with as much certainty as possible that the level of bravery and self sacrifice displayed is worthy of this singular honor.
Selflessness of this caliber cannot be measured under ordinary circumstances, because the ordinary does not evoke the extraordinary. Rather, the Medal of Honor requires that a display of heroism take place under the most difficult circumstances our service members can face.
With life and death hanging in the balance, brave warriors, like Sgt Meyer and those who have gone before him, override their natural, instinctive impulses of self preservation and risk their lives to save others.