"The story of what Dakota did . . . will be told for generations." (President Barack Obama, from remarks given at Meyer's Medal of Honor ceremony)
In the fall of 2009, Taliban insurgents ambushed a patrol of Afghan soldiers and Marine advisors in a mountain village called Ganjigal. Firing from entrenched positions, the enemy was positioned to wipe out 100 men who were pinned down and were repeatedly refused artillery support. Ordered to remain behind with the vehicles, 21 year-old Marine corporal Dakota Meyer disobeyed orders and attacked to rescue his comrades.
With a brave driver at the wheel, Meyer stood in the gun turret exposed to withering fire, rallying Afghan troops to follow. Over the course of the five hours, he charged into the valley time and again. Employing a variety of machine guns, rifles, grenade launchers, and even a rock, Meyer repeatedly repulsed enemy attackers, carried wounded Afghan soldiers to safety, and provided cover for dozens of others to escape - supreme acts of valor and determination. In the end, Meyer and four stalwart comrades - an Army captain, an Afghan sergeant major, and two Marines - cleared the battlefield and came to grips with a tragedy they knew could have been avoided. For his actions on that day, Meyer became the first living Marine in three decades to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Into the Fire tells the full story of the chaotic battle of Ganjigal for the first time, in a compelling, human way that reveals it as a microcosm of our recent wars. Meyer takes us from his upbringing on a farm in Kentucky, through his Marine and sniper training, onto the battlefield, and into the vexed aftermath of his harrowing exploits in a battle that has become the stuff of legend.
Investigations ensued, even as he was pitched back into battle alongside U.S. Army soldiers who embraced him as a fellow grunt. When it was over, he returned to the States to confront living with the loss of his closest friends. This is a tale of American values and upbringing, of stunning heroism, and of adjusting to loss and to civilian life.
We see it all through Meyer's eyes, bullet by bullet, with raw honesty in telling of both the errors that resulted in tragedy and the resolve of American soldiers, U.S.Marines, and Afghan soldiers who'd been abandoned and faced certain death.
Meticulously researched and thrillingly told, with nonstop pace and vivid detail, Into the Fire is the true story of a modern American hero.
"Sergeant Meyer embodies all that is good about our nation's Corps of Marines. . . . [His] heroic actions . . . will forever be etched in our Corps' rich legacy of courage and valor." (General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps)
©2012 Bing West and Dakota Meyer (P)2012 Random House Audio
"Into the Fire is a deeply compelling tale of valor and duty. Dakota Meyer will not identify as a hero, but he will, I think, accept the title warrior. Dakota's storytelling is precise and, for a Medal of Honor recipient, touchingly humble. With deft prose he drops us smack in the middle of one of the most heinous small unit firefights of the current wars. His insights into military tactics and politics in a war zone are sharp and uncompromising and work as a primer on infantry war fighting for the uninitiated. Dakota was a magnificent marine and he is now an equally magnificent chronicler of warfare and the small group of people who do today's fighting for America." (Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead)
"[Bing] West's greatest strengths are his exceptional personal courage and his experienced perception of combat." (The Washington Post)
"West [is] the grunts' Homer." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
Afghanistan was lost early on due to a lack of clear objectives and cloudy rules of engagement. Lack of coordination between the Army and the Marine Corps (really? is that STILL happening?) didn't help either. It also doesn't help that we keep trying to postage stamp democracy onto countries and cultures that are not ready... Whatever. Let's hope history will acknowledge at our motives were pure (about the nation building) and that we've learned some lessons about inter service support (as opposed to ass covering).
This was a really great story. The only drawback was McLarty repeatedly saying "Corzeman". As a former corpsman (pronounced core man) I found this distracting. I understand that the former pronunciation is used but not by anyone in the military.
This is a great book. It is to bad about what actually happened but it shows how incompetant some people are in our Military and how things get covered up. People should be held responsible for what they do or do not do. They are depended on and that should carry a price.
I have already recommended this book to friends. The level of detail took me right there with 'Ko'.
Have not read the book, but audio is excellent
Matterhorn, brave, brave young men at war. The joy, the loss, the waste
He was able to take me to the battelfield. Not as strong toward the end.
Yes, when Dakota felt he had failed. I know an officer who sent men into battle and personal he took the losses. We are so blessed to have these men represent us
The performance was excellent. I thought the performer caught the essences of who he was portraying.
The content powerfully caught the sense of brotherhood felt by those who are in combat. The battle scenes were heart breaking as brave men tried to overcome impossible odds against remote commands indifference to their plight. The behavior of remote and high command during and after the battle was most infuriating and damning.
A great story of brotherhood and bravery - well worth the listen.
This book really shows the crap that front line Marines have to do with a Bad rear support.How that bad support turned a ood Marine into a great Marine with a cost
The ability of Dakota Meyer and the other Marines to overcome their fear and accomplish their mission is incredible.
It is impossible to pull away from listening to the battle from start to finish.
He isn't a character but Dakota Meyer is very interesting.
The bureaucracy surrounding the command and control structure there was infuriating. It was like the IRS and DMV were leading the war.
Learning a soldiers daily life on the front lines.
His audio kept it gripping.
A break was needed as the tension mounted.
Our Military is a miracle and so proud to stand behind them as I am not in front of them.
Thank you for the education most never learn.
The trueth in this book is a common thread that runs through all the War's in History!
I don't rank 5 stars for books, except this one. As an ex Marine it rang so very true, and sad.
The Captain who never received his just due!
Yes, I could not turn this Book off. I listened from start to finish, listening to Bing West's last chapter 3 times.
Any combat soldier or Marine will like this book, especially the wrap up. John
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