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Customer Review

196 of 205 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HEROIC ACTIONS TAKEN BY A MARINE WHEN LEADERSHIP FAILED, September 25, 2012
This review is from: Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War (Hardcover)
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.

Sergeant Meyer eventually finds his team but it is too late for them. He then wrestles with guilt for not being able to save them. He also wrestles with anger at the Army officials that refused to provide artillery or air support because they could not verify what was actually happening in that valley.

This entire battle was a classic textbook case of "everything that could go wrong, did go wrong." The most shocking part was that Dakota Meyer was actually able to walk away from this intense battle. He was not afraid to die, he had actually accepted that there was no way he was going to be able to survive, so he just kept on going, trying to help and save others.

After reading this book I wondered how he survived. The only answer I can think of is sometimes its just not your day to die.

Thank you for your service Sergeant Dakota Meyer. You are a true hero.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 26, 2012 4:07:19 AM PDT
Side note, looked at past reviews and saw the Weber grill cover. Thank you. Also great review, intend on reading the book.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2012 6:02:36 AM PDT
Thanks for the comments.

As far as the Weber cover goes, I have a 36 year old Weber charcoal grill at home that I use often. They don't get that old without being covered!

Posted on Oct 1, 2012 2:10:41 PM PDT
Prophet 2012 says:
Leadership failed the minute we set foot in Afghanistan.

Posted on Oct 16, 2012 8:37:18 AM PDT
I was about to write my own review but this one says all I could say. Great book and great review.

Posted on Oct 25, 2012 10:17:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2012 11:17:22 PM PDT
wombat says:
" He also wrestles with anger at the Army officials that refused to provide artillery or air support because they could not verify what was actually happening in that valley."
---------------------------------
To me this is another example of the military not using drones effectively. If an armed drone had been dispatched as air cover from the beginning, the troops would have had immediate air support, and the drone operator could have verified the need for further support. If the situation was not hot, the drone could have been "pulled back" and used somewhere else. Thereby not wasting the drone capability when not needed. Even one of the relatively inexpensive reconnaissance drones could have been used when the troops first arrived. Then the ambush would have been viewed, the need verified, and the helicopters dispatched. That's just my opinion, I could be wrong. I just hate to see our troops not get the support they need as I'm sure everyone else hates to see it also.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2012 4:28:36 AM PDT
I completely agree with you Wombat. Some good coverage with drones could have saved lives here that day.

Posted on Mar 3, 2013 12:43:00 PM PST
Spider Dude says:
Very nice review...and yes, Dakota is a true hero! Semper Fi!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2013 4:55:25 AM PST
Thank you Spider Dude!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2014 2:30:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 17, 2014 3:17:12 PM PDT
EAGLE1 says:
Exactly! Because with the technology available to us today, there is NO EXCUSE (other than "ROE" bull crap, I suppose), why our boys shouldn't have (at the *very* least), live airborne recon. On that mission and every mission, especially covert!
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