Last week, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to a former Marine, Sgt. Dakota Meyer, for his courageous attempts to rescue U.S. and Afghan soldiers under intense enemy fire in Afghanistan on Sept. 8, 2009 (“Kin of killed soldiers say reprimands lenient,” Nation, Monday).
Sgt. Meyer is the third living individual to receive America’s highest military honor for bravery in combat while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a Medal of Honor recipient and a retired Marine, I’d like to take this opportunity, on behalf of my fellow recipients, to salute Sgt. Meyer, along with the two recent recipients, Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry and Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta. All three received their medals as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor, a historic milestone marked by commemorative coins to emphasize the values of courage and selflessness embodied in the American spirit.
Sgt. Meyer, Sgt. 1st Class Petry and Staff Sgt Giunta are our newest generation of heroes, members of the newest “greatest generation.” They, as well as the men and women serving in combat today, do so with the same spirit of courage and selflessness as their predecessors. They are truly magnificent. Semper Fi.
COL. H.C. “BARNEY” BARNUM
U.S. Marine Corps (retired)