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Whitfield congratulates Medal of Honor Recipient Dakota Meyer

Click on headline for full statement submitted to the Congressional Record, September 15, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01) today entered into the Congressional Record a tribute to Adair County native Dakota Meyer, recipient of the Medal of Honor.

Whitfield, who attended the White House ceremony honoring Meyer, stated in remarks submitted for the record, "I join Dakota Meyer's hometown of Columbia, Kentucky in pride as they celebrate this rare distinction for their native son. Meyer joins the ranks of a small company, who in the face of adversity rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done regardless of the consequences. His heroic actions reflect the values taught and practiced in small communities throughout the heart of America."

Whitfield's full statement in the Congressional Record follows:


Statement of Representative Ed. Whitfield
Submitted to the Congressional Record
September 15, 2011

"Mr. Speaker, the small community of Columbia in south central Kentucky is not unlike many of the rural areas of America that have given of their best young men and women to guarantee our freedom. As of today, however, Columbia has the distinction of being the birthplace of Dakota Meyer, only the third living recipient and the first Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Today, President Barack Obama will award Dakota Meyer the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. He will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as a member of Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He and his family will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service.

"The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves with meritorious conduct involving great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades, and the action must have involved risk of life. There must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct, and each recommendation for the award must be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.

"On September 8, 2009 an Afghan battalion was set to go to a village in the Ganjgal Valley. According to the plan, Meyer was to stay with the vehicles near the mouth of the valley and the Afghan soldiers and their U.S. advisers would walk into the village from there. But as the lead of the column approached the village more than 50 insurgents fired from positions on mountains surrounding the valley and from within the village. The troops were trapped.

"Back at the vehicles, Meyer heard the firing. When requests for airstrikes and permission to drive into the valley were repeatedly denied, Meyer set himself in the turret of a Humvee and rode straight into the firefight, taking fire from all directions. He went in not once, but five times, trying to rescue his comrades and taking to foot in an effort to locate his team. During about six hours of chaotic fighting, he took out eight Taliban militants and provided cover for Afghan and U.S. servicemen to escape the ambush, according to a Marine Corps account of the events. Meyer saved the lives of 13 U.S. troops and 23 Afghan soldiers.

"I join Dakota Meyer's hometown of Columbia, Kentucky in pride as they celebrate this rare distinction for their native son. Meyer joins the ranks of a small company, who in the face of adversity rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done regardless of the consequences. His heroic actions reflect the values taught and practiced in small communities throughout the heart of America."


This story was posted on 2011-09-15 14:52:49
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