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Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War [Kindle Edition]

Dakota Meyer , Bing West
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (454 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

“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 one hundred men who were pinned down and were repeatedly refused artillery support. Ordered to remain behind with the vehicles, twenty-one 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 unvarnished story of a modern American hero.

Praise for Into the Fire
“A story of men at their best and at their worst . . . leaves you gaping in admiration at Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer’s courage.”—National Review
“Meyer’s dazzling bravery wasn’t momentary or impulsive but deliberate and sustained.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[A] cathartic, heartfelt account . . . Combat memoirs don’t get any more personal.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A great contribution to the discussion of an agonizingly complex subject.”—The Virginian-Pilot
Black Hawk Down meets Lone Survivor.”—Library Journal

Editorial Reviews


“A story of men at their best and at their worst . . . leaves you gaping in admiration at Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer’s courage.”National Review
“Meyer’s dazzling bravery wasn’t momentary or impulsive but deliberate and sustained.”The Wall Street Journal
“[A] cathartic, heartfelt account . . . Combat memoirs don’t get any more personal.”Kirkus Reviews
“A great contribution to the discussion of an agonizingly complex subject.”The Virginian-Pilot
Black Hawk Down meets Lone Survivor.Library Journal

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

“The story of what Dakota did . . . will be told for generations.”—President Barack Obama, from remarks given at Meyer’s Medal of Honor ceremony

“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
“[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

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Dakota Meyer was born and raised in Columbia, Kentucky, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2006. A school-trained sniper and highly skilled infantryman, Corporal Meyer deployed to Iraq in 2007 and to Afghanistan in 2009. In 2011, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his unyielding courage in the battle of Ganjigal. He now competes at charity events in skeet and rifle competitions. He also speaks frequently at schools and veterans’ events to raise awareness of our military and remains dedicated to the causes of our veterans. For the families of fallen troops, he has raised over one million dollars.
Bing West, a Marine combat veteran, served as an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration. He has been on hundreds of patrols in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. A nationally acclaimed war correspondent, he is the author of The Village; No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah; The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq; and The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, West has received the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation award, the Colby Award for military nonfiction, the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, and the Marine Corps University Foundation’s Russell Leadership Award. He lives with his wife, Betsy, in Newport, Rhode Island.

Product Details

  • File Size: 6175 KB
  • Print Length: 266 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0812993403
  • Publisher: Random House (September 25, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0060AY9CY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,709 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
178 of 184 people found the following review helpful
A few things are apparent when reading this book. Sergeant Dakota Meyer was intensely dedicated to those he lived and fought with. The Ganjigal Valley is a bad, bad place. And those in command of providing support for these brave fighting men were hugely negligent in their duties to provide artillery and air support.

Sergeant Meyer is the first living Marine in three decades to be awarded the Medal of Honor. While most people think of that award as a huge achievement and acknowledgement of his actions, Dakota Meyer thinks of that day as the worst day of his life. He was not looking for an award, he was looking to rescue his teammates that were trapped in a ferocious battle. A battle he was repeatedly ordered not to engage in because the danger was so great. Orders he eventually disobeyed, and went to find his team.

The battle scenes are intense. There are dozens of times in Ginjigal where Dakota should have died. He made multiple trips in and out of the battlefield searching for his team and in the process saved many wounded Afghan soldiers by pulling them into his vehicle, or carrying them out of dangerous situations, with total disregard for his own safety.

Dakota Meyer was running from body to body trying to help. At one point he was recovering a dead Afghan soldier when an insurgent with an AK-47 approached and tried to kill him. Dakota's only action was to fire his 40MM grenade launcher directly into the insurgents chest at a distance so close the grenade was not able to arm itself. The grenade hit the insurgent's body armor and knocked him down giving Dakota enough time to close the distance and start wrestling with this man. He was finally able to finish him off with a rock.
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and Captivating. September 25, 2012
It's not very often that you allow yourself to be gripped by something that makes you feel as if you're in the trenches of war yourself. Dakota and Bing have a way of pulling you in, of making you feel skin on skin in combat. I could feel the blood on my own shoulder, taste the sweat in my own mouth.
Dakota Meyer is truly a hero. Not only in his actions on the battlefield, not only because he disobeyed his team leaders orders and went in to save his team but also in his honest, heart felt depiction of the details in such touching words that the picture is clearly drawn for me.
We don't realize that in war, it's not what we see in the movies. There isn't always a master plan and no one really has a right answer. There is a chain of command. People die. And everyone's human. You will be haunted by your decisions for the rest of your life and if you're lucky, you survive to tell the story.
My hat's off to Dakota and all the other many heroes that fight for my freedom today, yesterday and every day to come.
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61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bing West's latest book, co-written with Dakota Meyers, is an extraordinary account of one man's act of supreme heroism in the face of certain death -- told in a matter of fact way that doesn't resort to the sensationalism of some other recent military books. While the particular circumstances may make your blood boil and the risks Mr. Meyers willingly takes may make your skin crawl, this depiction of a regular Marine's life before, during and after this amazing episode should make us all realize that there are many, many heroes in uniform fighting for us and making the ultimate sacrifice every day. We owe them our undying gratitude and steadfast support upon their return.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, Yet Witty September 27, 2012
As heart wrenching as Dakota's story is, his journey is insightful, emotional, inspiring, and most to my surprise, genuinely witty and smart. He deserves way more credit than he allows himself and his style of writing offers comic relief to the words you know await reading. In the end, I'm glad and grateful he's alive to tell his story and to revive my faith in people; sometimes the good guys DO win. Job well done and God bless!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book! September 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I had the privilege of meeting Dakota while he was a student in Marine Sniper school in Hawaii. At the time none of us had any idea just what these young Marines were capable of. In his account of the Battle at Gangigal, you'll read just what being an American fighting man and US Marine are all about. The book takes you through his upbringing in KY, his family and friends and boot camp, training, sniper school and a tour in Iraq before volunteering to serve with a small advisory team. You need to read it yourself to hear the actual story in his words but it is quite amazing. His dedication, his honor and bravery and struggles he will have the rest of his life. Dakota is a true American hero and I am thankful he told his incredible story. Embedded in this story are the frustrations every American on the front line of the war in Afghanistan feel. The stupid rules of engagement that cost lives, the encroaching political correctness that is costing life after life on the front lines while the higher ups play war on TV screens. Thank you Dakota ... may the Lord bless you the rest of your life!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Those Who Gave All! September 26, 2012
This is an incredible book. Intense read, very hard to put down and he brings you right into the battle with him and his men. He is a true Marine. Marines have a special bond with each other, but they also have a certain blood and that they will do anything and whatever it takes! He is certainly doing his team Proud each and everyday and as Dakota says himself, it's "For Those Who Gave All" for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice! This is a book that Everyone should read. Not just those who are in the military or have family or friends in the military, but anyone in the United States of America where our Freedom is protected by them and anyone in support of what these brave men and women do for us each day. This was one of the most horrific battles in 2009 and it's battles like this one where lives were lost and hearts were wrenched. We did not hear about this much or see it on the news - but in this book we learn about the story of these men, the bond they shared, their bravery and the ultimate sacrifice. Dakota, you went above and beyond for your men. It was an honor to read this book and because of you,These men will Not be Forgotten.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. Dakota Meyer is awe-inpsiring
An inspiring account of an incredible young marine by an outstanding author. I stayed up all night reading, I couldn't put it down.
Published 16 hours ago by Debbie Meagher
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, might keep you up at night.
Having read the after action report nothing in the outline came as much of a surprise.
But this book will let the reader into what combat in this decade is about, and the... Read more
Published 1 day ago by William Lockard
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible book
I had a hard time putting this book down. Excellent book. Highly recommend this to everyone. Meyer you are a true hero.
Published 1 day ago by shelly peabody
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!
Outstanding read! What an eye opener of the break down of command and control. What a failure of the command post to support our troops. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Van hallman jr
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent first-person account
This is a bone chilling read. Dakota's narrative paints a very realistic picture of the horrors of war. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Douglas Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars No ego here, just guts and the finest skills the Marines have to...
I have read several first hand accounts of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and all were compelling stories of heroism. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Richard J.
4.0 out of 5 stars Friends & Enemies
Sometimes your friends are not those you had thought to be.
Sometimes your enemies are not those you had thought to be.
Published 8 days ago by David Boehl
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal gritty account of front line warfare
What makes a man go above and beyond the call of duty is what this book is about. An honest personal account of a Marine dealing with the daily tasks and responsibilities in a... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Sailer Bob of Santa Cruz CA.
5.0 out of 5 stars Dakota Meyer Story
Great story and a pleasure to read. These guys are true heroes. Hopefully they'll be our leaders of the future.
Published 10 days ago by Laura
4.0 out of 5 stars Important Book
While Dakota Meyer is a Medal of Honor winner, reason alone to read this book and learn why he won that rare medal, it is also an important book to learn about U.S. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Steven Wingo
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