The Humility of a Hero

SGT Dakota Meyer received the Congressional Medal of Honor for the daring retrieval of his four dead comrades along with the rescue of 24 Marines and the evacuation of 12 wounded under heavy enemy fire from insurgents despite their request to join the fight being denied by superiors. 

With Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez driving, Meyer, then a corporal, made multiple forays into the ambush in a Humvee to rescue soldiers being attacked by insurgents. Their success in rescuing Marines was tempered by the fact that they were unable to save their comrades, but did manage to retrieve their bodies. Staff Sgt. Rodriguez-Chavez received the Navy Cross for his actions on that day. Meyer and Rodriguez-Chavez ignored orders from superiors and put the lives of their comrades above their own safety in an unselfish and heroic act.

Meyer has gone about his business inconspicuously since then, avoiding publicity or recognition of his actions. When informed of being awarded the Medal of Honor, he asked that memorial services be undertaken for each of his fallen comrades to shift the focus onto their sacrifice and let everyone know that this honor belonged to them. In the press interviews to which he has consented, he tells the story of his fallen teammates so the world will know of the terrible events of that day.

It is rare to find real heroes in our feminized culture which has taken pains to suppress masculine virtues. It is even rarer to find a hero with the humility to shun personal glory and avoid the temptation to cash in on the misfortune of his comrades in a search for fame and fortune. Then again, humility is exactly the quality one would expect to find in a real hero. SGT Meyer demonstrates humility and heroism in spades. Fortunately for us, he is not alone as many soldiers of this generation have quietly gone about their jobs in Iraq and Afghanistan prosecuting the War on Terror.

We see SGT Meyer and wonder if we would have had what it took to do what he did. We may never find this out about ourselves, but we realize that SGT Meyer has answered this question for himself and we stand in awe of his accomplishment. We also wonder if we would have had the ability to withstand the temptation of fame as he has. SGT Meyer is a serious and sober individual with the humility to feel he is undeserving of this honor and thus a true hero in every sense of the word. When receiving his award, SGT Meyer’s thoughts were on his fallen comrades.

It is this strength of character displayed in the young people serving in America’s armed forces that will defeat terrorism and make America great again. There is greatness in every American generation that manifests itself when required by the circumstances of the times. It is incumbent upon America to preserve the Judeo-Christian traditions of morality that underpin this strength of character in our youth.

We celebrate and honor the actions of a true American hero while remembering and honoring the ultimate sacrifice given by those who volunteered to protect our freedom. The Congressional Medal of Honor is not given lightly and is often awarded posthumously. Its award reminds us of the high cost of freedom and sobers our thinking when hearing the siren song of security sung by those wishing to enlarge the state at the cost of our freedoms. Security is an elusive quality, but freedom is a thing difficult to surrender once experienced.

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