Videos Contradict Official Account of Medal of Honor Winner Dakota Meyer

Friday, October 18, 2013
Dakota Meyer receiving Medal of Honor

New evidence has surfaced contradicting the heroic accounts of Marine Sergeant Dakota Meyer, who received the Medal of Honor four years ago for gallantry in Afghanistan.


In Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War, his memoir of the 2009 battle that made him famous, Meyer claimed insurgents swarmed his vehicle, leading to his fighting off the attackers with both a rifle and a machine gun.


Both the Marine Corps and the Obama White House backed Meyer’s story in deciding to make him the first living Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.


But a McClatchy investigation has uncovered videos from an Army medevac helicopter that showed no Taliban in the area where Meyer was at the time of the attack.


“We totally flew over everything….There was nothing going on down there,” Army National Guard Sergeant Kevin Duerst, the helicopter crew chief whose helmet camera recorded one of the videos, told McClatchy. “There was no serious gunfight going on.”


McClatchy’s probe also has revealed that “crucial parts of Meyer’s memoir were untrue, unsubstantiated or exaggerated, as were the Marine Corps and White House accounts of how he helped extract casualties from the valley under fire,” the news service’s Jonathan Landay wrote.


Another soldier, former Army Captain William Swenson, who received a Medal of Honor this week for gallantry in the same battle, said the videos showed what really took place in the Ganjgal Valley on September 8, 2009.


“It shows the truth of that battle, a truth I never expected to see again,” he told McClatchy.


Perhaps just as startling was this admission from Meyer: “I wrote my book to the best of my recollection of what happened. And if that’s not it, then that’s not it.”


The Marine Corps declined to comment on the videos. The service and the White House have continued to stand by their accounts of Meyer’s heroism.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Videos Contradict Medal of Honor Recipient’s Account of Taliban Attack (by Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy)

Obama and Marines Gave False Account of Medal of Honor Winner’s Heroism (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Marine Medal of Honor Winner Sues Defense Contractor BAE for Defamation (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Why Did Dakota Meyer Receive Medal of Honor and Not Juan Rodriguez-Chavez? (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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