Friday, September 16, 2011

Semper Fi


On Sept. 8, 2009, then-Cpl. Meyer and Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez were part of a contingent of U.S. forces visiting an Afghan village to train fighters and persuade elders to support the Afghan government. It was a dangerous area, and as the meeting was underway, the village was suddenly plunged into darkness. Insurgents on the ridges above began firing on American and Afghan soldiers. Meyer was back with the trucks at that moment, but his comrades who were posted farther forward were cut off by the ambush.

Amid gunfire so intense it "sounded like static," Meyer and Rodriguez-Chavez radioed for permission to rescue the embattled Marines and soldiers. They were denied. Defying orders, they commandeered a Humvee and, with Rodriguez-Chavez at the wheel and Meyer manning the gun, made five trips through the fire zone. For six hours, they kept up their heroic efforts, even after Meyer was wounded in the arm. All told, they brought 13 Americans and 23 Afghans to safety before, on the last foray, risking their lives yet again to recover the bodies of four fellow Marines. At Meyer's request, those four, and a fifth American killed that day, were honored Thursday with private ceremonies in their hometowns as Meyer was receiving the Medal of Honor from President Obama.

While I applaud this young Marine's actions and his humility, just once I'd like to hear a MOH recipient respond with, "Fuckin' A right I'm a hero!".


Anonymous said...

Paid a Marine MOH holder in Vietnam. Paid him on an Army pay voucher. Took him to the pay lines. Took him to the head of the line. Griping by the Army people.

I had to hold his right hand to sign the voucher, he was so screwed up.

When he had been paid, I called everyone to attention, right faced them and ordered a salute as he walked off the compound.

Then I put everyone at ease and said something like, "He holds the Medal of Honor, he's a Marine, he got his the hard way."

Everyone started cheering, yelling, screaming and whistling.

His back straightened up. He fell into that Marine strut as he went up the road, bad leg and all.

He knew he was a hero.

Sorry if I've told this before on this blog.

Fixer said...

I saw an interview with his daddy. He said the boy is starting to sleep a couple hours at night now. I wish him the best.

BadTux said...

"Fuckin' A right I'm a hero!".

He's a Marine. He don't need to say that, it goes with the territory, just like "I'm a rifleman". Just sayin' :).

Gordon said...

Usually we only say we're Marines after it's all over and the people are wondering what hit 'em. Heh.

CAFKIA said...

Why did the MOH go only to Meyer? From the accounts I have seen/heard Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez put his ass on the line as much as Meyer. Nothing against Meyer but, it looks like neither of them could have made this work without the other.

I would be happy and proud to salute both.

BadTux said...

My guess, CAFKIA, is that Meyer would tell you the same damned thing. But my guess is that the reasoning went like this -- Meyer was the one who made the decision to damn the orders 'cause Marines don't leave their own behind, Meyer was the one shooting the gun, Meyer was the one who jumped out of the Humvee and dragged all those people into the Humvee. So it goes. Doesn't change the fact that both of'em got big brass ones, yo.