COLUMBIA — Two years ago, Dakota L. Meyer had just gone through a hell he did not expected to survive.
On Sept. 8, 2009, in a narrow valley in mountainous eastern Afghanistan, Meyer, then a 21-year-old corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, repeatedly charged through murderous enemy fire to rescue other Marines and U.S. and Afghan soldiers who had been ambushed by Taliban fighters.
"I was just waiting to get killed in there. I never thought I was going to make it out alive," Meyer told the Herald-Leader.
But Meyer, firing a heavy machine gun from the turret of a gun truck, killed at least eight insurgents, picked up wounded and dead men and provided cover that allowed his team to fight its way out of certain death, according to the U.S. Marine Corps.
Meyer's efforts in the six-hour battle saved the lives of 13 U.S. Marines and soldiers and 23 Afghan soldiers, the Corps said.
For those actions, President Barack Obama will present Meyer with the nation's highest military award, the Medal of Honor, in a ceremony at the White House on Thursday.
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