WASHINGTON — In 2009, Dakota Meyer made five death-defying forays into a heavy-fire zone in Afghanistan’s Ganjgal Valley to save American and Afghan troops.
On Thursday, he’ll be in a friendly spot — the White House, where he’ll receive the Medal of Honor for his battlefield heroics.
Wednesday night, the 23-year-old former Marine was far from his southern Kentucky home, sharing a beer with President Barack Obama outside the Oval Office ahead of the ceremony.
The military says that during six hours of ferocious fighting after an ambush by insurgents on Sept. 8, 2009, Meyer saved 13 Marines and Army soldiers and 23 Afghan soldiers, killed at least eight insurgents and carried from the battle zone the bodies of four fallen comrades — despite being wounded himself.
And he told NBC News he had to disobey orders to do it.
'Furthest thing from a hero'
Dakota at the time was serving as a member of Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the White House said. He will be the third living recipient — and first Marine — to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The soft-spoken farm boy from Columbia, Ky., told NBC News he is being recognized for the worst day of his life.
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