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Publisher's Summary

"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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

From another combat Marine's point of view

very slow start. if i hadn't been bored i would have given up. HOWEVER, i couldn't stop listening till it was finished toward the end. the epilouge and notes were almost better than most of the book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Well done!

One of the most well written accounts of battle in the modern war era. And narrated equally well, helping to add to the presentation of a capturing and heart grabbing story of one of America's finest.

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Great

Great book that I enjoyed reading. This was entertaining and educational at the same time. Keep up the great work.

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excellent account from the experiences of Dakota.

gripping account of honor and loyalty to brothers in arms, and the true account of difficulties with the pc roes

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  • DS
  • 06-10-13

why we lost Afghanistan

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).

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  • Linzay
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 02-19-13

Great Story!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Charles
  • LYNDON STATION, WISCONSIN, United States
  • 01-13-13

Into the Fire.

Would you consider the audio edition of Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War to be better than the print version?

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.

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  • Yvette
  • Fishkill, NY, United States
  • 12-19-12

Excellent! Excellent!! Excellent!!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have already recommended this book to friends. The level of detail took me right there with 'Ko'.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War?

The battle.

Which character – as performed by Zach McLarty – was your favorite?

'Ko'

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely!

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Why do we do war?

Would you consider the audio edition of Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War to be better than the print version?

Have not read the book, but audio is excellent

What other book might you compare Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War to and why?

Matterhorn, brave, brave young men at war. The joy, the loss, the waste

What about Zach McLarty’s performance did you like?

He was able to take me to the battelfield. Not as strong toward the end.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Powerful - Heart Breaking - Infuriating & Damning

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.