Editor’s Note: This is excerpted from a larger feature appearing in the special military December 2012 issue of BLADE, on newsstands now. BLADE thanks all past and present military service members and their families for their sacrifices.
by Mike Carter
In recognition of his military actions in Afghanistan on behalf of his fellow servicemen and his country that resulted in his receiving the Medal of Honor, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Dakota Meyer recently was presented with a custom knife made by Gene Baskett, a custom AR-15 rifle, and honorary membership in the Knifemakers’ Guild.
During a special ceremony this past December in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Baskett, formerly of Elizabethtown and now of Eastview, Kentucky, presented Sgt. Meyer with a Baskett knife, a custom fi ghter with a black Moly-Coated CPM-154 stainless blade and a black linen Micarta® handle. The knife is engraved “MOH, Sgt. Dakota Meyer, USMC” on the mark side and “8 September 2009, Kunar Province Afghanistan” on the flip side. The engraving is by Patrick Clark of Clark Jewelers, also of Elizabethtown. Richardson Gunsmithing did the Moly Coating.
About Sgt. Dakota Meyer
According to Dakota Meyer’s citation for the Medal of Honor, he was recognized for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the repeated risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a member of Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009.
“When the forward element of his combat team began to be hit by intense fire from roughly 50 Taliban insurgents dug in and concealed on the slopes above Ganjgal village, [then] Corporal Meyer mounted a gun-truck, enlisted a fellow Marine to drive, and raced to attack the ambushers and aid the trapped Marines and Afghan soldiers. During a six-hour firefight, Corporal Meyer single-handedly turned the tide of the battle, saved 36 Marines and soldiers and recovered the bodies of his fallen brothers.
“Four separate times he fought the kilometer up into the heart of a deadly U-shaped ambush. During the fight he killed at least eight Taliban, personally evacuated 12 friendly wounded, and provided cover for another 24 Marines and soldiers to escape likely death at the hands of a numerically superior and determined foe.
“On his first foray his lone vehicle drew machine gun, mortar, rocket grenade and small arms fire while he rescued five wounded soldiers. His second attack disrupted the enemy’s ambush and he evacuated four more wounded Marines. Switching to another gun-truck because his was too damaged, they again sped in for a third time, and as turret gunner he killed several Taliban attackers at point blank range and suppressed enemy fire so 24 Marines and soldiers could break out.
“Despite being wounded, he made a fourth attack with three others to search for missing team members. Nearly surrounded and under heavy fire, he dismounted the vehicle and searched house-to-house to recover the bodies of his fallen team members. By his extraordinary heroism, presence of mind amidst chaos and death, and unselfish devotion to his comrades in the face of great danger, Corporal Meyer refl cted great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.”
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