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Entries in Dakota Meyer (4)

Wednesday
Nov302011

Medal of Honor Recipient Fights Allegations He Is Mentally Unstable

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- In September, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's most prestigious military award, to Sgt. Dakota Meyer, the marine who saved 36 of his comrades during an ambush in Afghanistan.

Obama called Meyer one of the most "down-to-earth guys that you will ever meet."

But today, Meyer, 23, is having trouble getting a job because of allegations by defense contractor BAE Systems that he has a drinking problem and is mentally unstable.  Meyer filed legal papers on Monday claiming the allegations were in retaliation for objections he raised about BAE's alleged decision to sell high-tech sniper scopes to the Pakistani military.

After leaving active duty in May 2010, Meyer worked at Ausgar Technologies, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business in California, until April 2011.

"He exhibited a maturity for his age and an insightful capability to get the job done and provide recommendations to improve on what we are doing.  I was very impressed while he was working for us.  He was an outstanding employee," Tom Grant, a retired military naval officer and a senior program manager at Ausgar Technologies, told ABC News.

When asked about the allegations of mental instability and a drinking problem, Grant said, "While Meyer was working for me, I never saw evidence of either of those issues."

In March 2011, Meyer began working at BAE Systems, a British military contracting company, where he learned the company was trying to sell advanced thermal optic scopes to the Pakistani military.

"We are taking the best gear, the best technology on the market to date and giving it to guys known to stab us in the back," Meyer wrote to BAE Systems manager Bobby McCreight, his former co-worker, according to the lawsuit.  "These are the same people killing our guys."

But BAE Systems is claiming that that decision is not up to them.

"The U.S. Department of State, not BAE Systems, makes the decision on what defense-related products can be exported.  In recent years, the U.S. Government has approved the export of defense-related goods from numerous defense companies to Pakistan as part of the United States' bilateral relationship with that country," said Brian J. Roehrkasse, the vice president of public relations at BAE, in a statement.

In May 2011, Meyer gave his two weeks notice to BAE Systems and applied to return to Ausgar Technologies.  He was approved by the U.S. government for the job, but the Ausgar hiring manager informed Meyer that he would not be hired because of allegations made by former marine McCreight, according to the lawsuit.  Ausgar refused to comment on the matter.

Attempts to reach McCreight's lawyer were unsuccessful.

Meyer is now suing McCreight for telling "the government program manager that Mr. Meyer should not be hired for reasons that are false and defamatory," according to Meyer's original petition.

According to Roehrkasse, BAE Systems strongly disagrees with Meyer's claims and intends to "vigorously defend [themselves] through the appropriate legal process."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep272011

Medal of Honor Recipient Dakota Meyer Turns Down Special Treatment for FDNY Job

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Despite his opposition to the title, Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer has been called a hero by many, but he sure doesn't want to be treated as one.

The former Marine sergeant has denied a judge's deadline extension that would allow him to apply for his dream job -- to become a New York City firefighter.  Meyer missed the original deadline nearly two weeks ago because he was in Washington, D.C., receiving the prestigious award from President Obama.

The 23-year-old declined the judge's offer because he did not want to be a special exception.

Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor on Sept. 15, becoming the first living Marine to receive it for heroism in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  He received the nation’s highest military award for repeatedly rushing into heavy enemy fire in an attempt to rescue four missing U.S. servicemembers pinned down in an intense hours-long ambush in eastern Afghanistan on Sept. 8, 2009.

He insists he is not a hero, but rather, was only doing "what Marines do."

"I’m the furthest thing from a hero,” Meyer said on ABC's World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.  “If this is what it feels like to be a hero you can have it.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep162011

Dakota Meyer, Marine Medal of Honor Recipient, Says He’s No Hero

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama presented former Marine Dakota Meyer with the Medal of Honor at the White House Thursday, making Meyer the first living Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for heroism in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The former Marine sergeant, who shared a beer with the president at the White House Wednesday, insists he is not a hero for repeatedly rushing into heavy enemy fire in an attempt to rescue four missing U.S. servicemembers pinned down in an intense hours-long ambush in eastern Afghanistan on Sept. 8, 2009.  Fighting through a piece of shrapnel that had injured his arm, Meyer later reached the four only to find that they had died in the fighting.

At Thursday’s ceremony President Obama called it “fitting” that the ceremony should take place the same week as the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that led to the war in Afghanistan.

Obama described the 23-year-old as representing “the best of a generation that has served with distinction through a decade of war.”

“You did your duty above and beyond, and you kept the faith with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps you love,” said Obama.

Obama called Meyer “one of the most down to earth guys that you will ever meet.”  He noted that when the White House contacted him to arrange the president’s phone call to inform him he was to receive the award, he asked that it be scheduled for his lunch hour from his construction job because he said, “if I don’t work, I don’t get paid.”

“I do appreciate, Dakota, you taking my call,” joked President Obama.

Meyer becomes the 10th recipient of the nation’s highest award for valor in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; all but two have been presented posthumously.  Army soldiers Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta and Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry are the only other living recipients of the award.

In an interview with ABC’s Bob Woodruff that aired Thursday night on ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer, Meyer says that if he was faced with the same situation again, “I would do it a hundred times” though he would change only one thing: ”I wish I could have kept them alive.”

He insists he is not a hero, but was only doing “what Marines do…I’m the furthest thing from a hero,” he says, “if this is what it feels like to be a hero you can have it.”  He adds, “What gives me the right to be standing here today and not their kids?  I feel like I failed them and I failed their families.”

Meyer wears bracelets with the names of the four Americans killed in Ganjgal that day and feels some guilt that he survived the battle.

“I guess what’s stuck in my mind is you either get guys out alive or you die trying, if you didn’t die trying, you didn’t try hard enough,” he says.

Now living on his grandparents’ farm in rural Kentucky, Meyer says that he would return to active duty “in a heartbeat” if he could be promised a return to combat “fighting with Marines.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep152011

Sgt. Dakota Meyer to Receive Medal of Honor; Grabs Beer with Obama

The White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- At a White House ceremony Thursday, Sgt. Dakota Meyer will become the first living Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for heroism in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Meyer becomes the 10th recipient of the nation’s highest award for valor in those conflicts; all but two have been presented posthumously.  Army soldiers Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta and Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry are the only other living recipients of the award.

The former Marine sergeant insists he is not a hero for repeatedly rushing into heavy enemy fire in an attempt to rescue four missing U.S. servicemembers pinned down in an intense hours-long ambush in eastern Afghanistan.

On Sept. 8, 2009,  Meyer was one of 13 American military trainers embedded with a unit of 80 Afghan soldiers headed for a routine meeting with local elders in the village of Ganjgal, located in a valley along the border with Pakistan.

Four trainers at the front of the U.S.-Afghan force were immediately trapped by the heavy enemy fire believed to be coming from as many as 150 Taliban fighters.

Positioned in a rear position when the ambush began, Meyer and other members of his unit used a Humvee to rush into the kill zone to try and rescue the four trapped at the head of their column.

Using the Humvee, Meyer rescued 12 Afghan soldiers in his first three attempts to reach the four trapped trainers.  He finally broke through to their position on the fourth attempt only to find they had been killed in the fighting.  Meyer then retrieved their remains.

In an interview with ABC’s Bob Woodruff airing Thursday night on ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer, Meyer says that if he was faced with the same situation again, “I would do it a hundred times” though he would change only one thing: ”I wish I could have kept them alive.”

He insists he is not a hero, but was only doing “what Marines do…I’m the furthest thing from a hero,” he says, “if this is what it feels like to be a hero you can have it.”  He adds, “What gives me the right to be standing here today and not their kids?  I feel like I failed them and I failed their families.”

Meyer wonders if the outcome might have been different if ”I had just done it on the first time on my instinct, maybe I could of got in there, made a difference, but like I said, you can ‘what if it’ to the max.”

Leading up to Thursday's ceremony, Meyer sat down with President Obama Wednesday for a beer outside the Oval Office.  During a call with the president’s staff in preparation for the ceremony, Meyer asked if he could have a beer with the president.  When Obama heard about the request, he invited Meyer to stop by.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio