When President Obama pinned the medal of honor on US Marine Dakota Meyer, he said that Meyer deserved the award because he risked his life to save 13 American soldiers during a Taliban ambush. Recent reports have accused the Marine Corp of exaggerating the marine’s deeds, but the White House is standing by its soldier and its story.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said:
“The president was very proud to present the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Meyer for his extraordinary service in Afghanistan. As the president said that day, in Sergeant Dakota Meyer we see the best of a generation that has served through a decade of war.”
A story that ran in the News Tribune today claims that a number of key facts from Meyer’s story are untrue. The paper writes:
“While the medal appears to have been awarded based on accurate information, 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.”
The paper claims that sworn statements from Meyer’s and other soldiers prove that Meyer’s story is embellished. The McClatchy report was written by Jonathan Landay, a journalist who witnessed Meyer’s heroic act in 2009. Landay says that Meyer could never have saved 13 American soldiers since only 12 were present during the attack. Landay notes that four soldiers also died that day.
Landay also says that the survival of the soldiers was secured by military helicopters and not by Meyer’s vehicle.
According to the AFP, the Marine Corps said that eyewitness accounts typically differ during confusing combat situations and insisted that several witnesses confirmed Meyer’s story.
Do you think Marine Dakota Meyer deserved the medal of honor?