MOH Recipient Dakota Meyer on Struggle

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MOH Recipient Dakota Meyer on Struggle

First, a quick housekeeping note.  I am back from Afghanistan and working on my article about the embed.  It will be in the July issue of the Magazine.  What a great experience.  The guys and gals with the 3rd ESC and Able COmpany 3-66 AR treated me phenomenally well.  Once I get a chance to sort through my notes and videos, I should have more for you.

Today I read a post by MOH Recipient Dakota Meyer at his new blog, "Actions not Words."  Entitled "Struggle" it is incredibly tough to read, and my heart really goes out to him:

They say time heals all wounds, but for me, it seems that the longer I wait and the more time that has passed, the harder it gets.

Marines are supposed to be the toughest men on Earth, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm struggling.  This week was especially hard because Tuesday was the 8th of the month.  My guys were killed on the 8th of September, 2009.  I'll admit that this week was filled with lots of tears, bad days and bad thoughts...

I accept the responsibility of being a failure.  I hold myself accountable everyday and let everyone know that a failure is what I am; not a hero, as so many people have called me.  I cringe when I hear that word.

Everyday, and especially on the days when I don't even want to get out of bed, I look down at my wrists and I see their names and I know I have no choice but to push on in their honor and for sacrificies they gave!!! 

Ooof.  The fact that this man could think he failed makes my chest hurt.  Go read the whole thing and leave him some encouragement.



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Let me be the first to welcome you back to the real world. No Medal of Honor recepient that has earned the award and endured the worst combat can offer, could ever be classified a failure. Dakota Meyer remains in my prayers in the hope that he finds and accepts peace within himself. Dominus Vobiscum et Pax Vobiscum.

Dakota, let me offer the testimony of a Navy Corpsman attached to the 1st Marine Divison in the 15-day Chosin Reservoir Campaign in North Korea between November 27 and December 11, 1950: "For more than a year after I returned home, I relived the horrors of that war almost every night in my dreams. No one wanted to talk about it; even while it was still being fought, the Korean conflict became 'the forgotten war.' Eventually, Christ brought me to the end of myself; I trusted Him and He took My nightmares away. My wounds healed, but the scars on my soul still remind me of the war." - Dr. Archie Parrish

Dakota, there is a living God that has made us all, and loves us unconditionally. He is the only One that can truly work through others to bring you security, love, affirmation and purpose. As a Vietnam veteran, the tears have come unexpectantly at time, even though not accomplished what you have in bravery. We all have a life unique in all ways, and if I can assure you in any way that your life will uplift others in the future in Godly ways please contact me. You will with His help make eternal differences in others life, as yours is encouraged not just in military but in your unique destiny. Choose life in Godly beliefs, and i bless you as a child of destiny in great value and honor.

Anyone who serves as a Marine is a cut above anyone else; but anyone who does so, and earns a Medal of Honor, deserves my deepest respect. There are not many words that will heal the wounds of war, that you have suffered. And not many people that you feel safe to talk about these things. But know that I will keep you in prayer, and be available to you to chat at any time.

Dakota, your humility inspires me. Many haved been honored with awards over the years. Few have shown true humility as you have, and that's my criteria of a true Hero. Thank you for your service,and may you be Abundantly Blessed. Semper Fi !

You did your brothers proud that day. No your day did not end with everyone getting to go home HOWEVER you tried and did not fail because you have to live for the ones who GOD want home that day. What you did inspired other to live that day who may have given up until they saw your actions and lived.

You are not a failure. You may not want to be called a hero and I can accept that. You had a very tough job to do and you did it with honor. You tried very hard to get the best results possible, but this is war and the best results are not always within our reach. I was in the Air Force from 1956-1961 in a non combat support postion. It was mostly peace time, and I really look up to you and all of those who went through combat. I did my job to the best of my ability and do not regret it. I have no idea what I would have done under combat conditions, but thank God we have people like you and others who were in combat. In my book you are no failure. You and others like you are my idols for doing your best.


Battle of Belleau Wood
The Battle of Belleau Wood occurred during the German 1918 Spring Offensive in World War I, near the Marne River in France. The Marines fought with such ferocity that they were likened to "Dogs from Hell." Although unverified by the Germans, the reports were made by American media at the time. While the legend persists, the Devil Dogs nickname for Marines first appeared in newspapers in the United States in April 1918, about two months before the Battle of Belleau Wood. The La Crosse (Wisconsin Tribune ran a story about the nickname on April 27, 1918, and other newspapers used the story as early as April 15, 1918. The Battle of Belleau Wood began on June 1, 1918.

Some Marines offer a more detailed story: The Battle of Belleau Wood was fought in France in the summer of 1918, in the midst of a heat wave. At some point during the battle, the Marines were ordered to take a hill occupied by German forces. Marine Captain Lloyd Williams when advised to withdraw, replies, "Retreat, Hell! We just got here!" Capt. Williams would not survive the ensuing battle.

As the Marines made ready to charge the hill, word came down from command that the Germans were preparing to use mustard gas to repel the attack. As a precaution, the Marines were ordered to put on their gas masks and take the hill. While the Marines fought their way up the hill, the heat caused them to sweat profusely, foam at the mouth and turned their eyes bloodshot. The attack against the woods proper goes grimly. Crossing a wheat field where they are exposed to machine gun fire. Gunnery Sgt Dan Daly asks his men, "Come on ya sons-of-bitches, ya want to live forever?' The attack is only able to seize a small corner of the wood.

Additionally, at some points the hill was very steep, which caused the Marines to have to scramble on all fours to make their way up. Consequently, from the Germans' vantage point, they witnessed a pack of tenacious, growling figures whose lower faces were obscured by gas masks (which at the time had a prolonged shape that somewhat resembled a snout, or muzzle, the protruding portion of an animal's face, consisting of its nose, mouth, and jaw. but left open their bloodshot eyes and mouth foam seeping from the sides, advancing up the hill, sometimes on all fours, and killing everything in their way.

As the legend goes, the German soldiers, upon seeing this spectacle, began to yell that they were being attacked by "dogs from hell."

Marines Die because FREEDOM is not FREE.
Semper Fi

Teufelshunde 1933

I do not know your experience, but I, my children and grandchildren owe many
Thanks to you and all who have served to give us our freedom and fot keeping the USA
intact. God Bless You and all vets.

Dakota, as one of the MIA and FIA (Missing in America) (Forgotten in America) I can only tell you do not go there because it is a long way back if ever. I still know of Marines Navy and Army Vets still sleeping in parks and under bridges just waiting for something and not knowing what. Just know this, the dreams will not go away no matter what they tell you, that is something you will come to live with. They say you are an inspiration to us all; when all you want is to be left by yourself but do as I did look in the mirror and look behind you and you will know that all of you friends and fellow comrades are still with you. They never left your side and they will be with you the rest of your life. And one more thing you will learn to sleep and in time it will get better.

My dear Comrade, We can only use our training in a time of crisis. We can't control the outcome, only God has the ability to alter situations like you were in. Heal well brother and trust in God he only gives us what we can handle, and he will use you for his glory.

My dear Comrade, We can only use our training in a time of crisis. We can't control the outcome, only God has the ability to alter situations like you were in. Heal well brother and trust in God he only gives us what we can handle, and he will use you for his glory.

DAKOTA, I am the uncle of AARON KENEFICK and I have been following everything surrounding that horrible day since we had gotten the news.First thing I want to thank you for allowing us to be able to lay AARON to rest next to my father AARONS grandfather as you know was a marine.Second I want to tell you that I have been following everything you have been doing ever since, and I am so proud of you and that AARON was apart of you also. DAKOTA you are a true insperation to me and to others and every chance I get to watch your videos and share your message and stories I do. You see I work in a school so getting your message out is easy for me to do and everybody is always so eager to listen so you keep putting that message out and I will follow suit. I hope this message will find you for I wanted to speak to you as my sister SUE has and I have much more to say. DAKOTA keep the faith gods blessings are upon you.

Dakota, To my untrained but seasoned 77 year old ears, it sounds to me as if you are still struggling with why you survived and some of your men did not. You are not a failure. You succeded in saving many lives and by the Grace of God have lived to tell your story and to inspire others to go forward. In the words of Medal of Honor recipient Master Chief Hospital Corpsman William R. Charette, when he was called a hero, he replied "I am no hero. I was just a victim of circumstances!" Believe me, you and Chief Charette, whom we lost on March 18, 2012, are true heros in every sense of the word. Your are our friends for life. You did your duty to the best of your ability and you honored your country by your deeds and by surviving to inspire us all. I was forturnate to have served as a Corpsman with the Marines. God Bless You and thank you for your service to us all. Semper Fi.

Sgt. Meyer,
Your actions as a U.S. Marine bring honor to You and the Corps. As a U.S.M.C. Vietnam Veteran, and a father of a Marine, you did you duty for your fellow warriors. I have read about your actions that saved and recovered your friends. Allow your family, friends and fellow veterans to help you. Use all the help you can get to allow you to honor your fallen warriors. We are all proud of your accomplishments. May God help you to honor your life. Semper Fi

As you are Dakota ! Though I am now 67 yrs. old and a Vietnam Vet. W/1st Cav Div. US Army, serving 65-66. I am PROUD of your MOH ! It doesn't stand for nor mean "hero", it is HONOR and I Thank you for the guys that did come back, that probably wouldn't had it not been for your actions.
I transferred (volunteered) to leave my 101st Airborne unit shortly before shipping out for Vietnam, to be trained as a door gunner on a helicopter assault ship, leaving behind some great friends, they also got shipped over, a month after, only 3 guys from that unit came home.
I came back to being spit on, called names and just plain hated. I earned my ribbons, my medals and my Honorable discharge. and maybe I laid fire or returned fire to help some of the guys on the ground to come back. I did my job as I was trained as you were ... Welcome home, Brother. Sleep well !

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.