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I have always tried to read the memoirs or biographies of Medal of Honor recipients. This is the memoir of the only “living” Marine recipient of the Medal of Honor in over 40 years.
Sgt. Dakota Meyer begins by telling about some of the missions he had just prior to the Ganjigal episode. Then he proceeds to September 8, 2009 with ninety Afghan Soldiers and fifteen U.S. Military advisers moving into Ganjigal in the Kunar Province to meet with the village elders. The meeting was a trap. Sergeant Meyer was not with the team that day; he had been ordered to stay with the Afghan reinforcement troops at the entrance to the box canyon.
The team reported the ambush and asked for help; which was refused. They asked for artillery barrage, which was refused. They asked for close air support and that also was refused. The reason for the refusal was the “rules of engagement”. Sgt. Meyer asked to go help his team and was refused. He disobeyed a direct order and went to help. Staff Sgt Juan Rodriquez-Chavez was driving the armored Humvee and Sgt. Meyer was on the gun. They headed straight into the shooting. The Taliban held the high ground. Over the next few hours they made five trips into the kill-zone to rescue wounded and dead Afghan and U.S. soldiers and marines. Sometimes Sgt Meyer was in hand to hand combat. Thirteen U.S. and Afghan soldiers died and most were wounded; they all might have died if not for Sgts Chavez and Meyer. Meyer feels he is a failure because he failed to save his team who all died that day. SSgt Chavez received the Navy Cross but because Sgt Meyer repeatedly left the protection of the vehicle he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Sgt Meyer reports these men died or were wounded because the chain of command failed them. Sgt Meyer tells the story of Army officer, Captain Swenson, who also was nominated for the Medal of Honor that fateful day, but the Army has lost or held up the paperwork even though the high ranking field officers keep pushing for the Award. It is reported the investigation whitewashed the whole event. Zach McLarty does a good job narrating the story. McLarty is an actor and writer who is making a name narrating audiobooks.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War?
it was a very exciting read. you find yourself feeling as if you were right there with them
What did you like best about this story?
I liked the fact the author didn't try to glamorize himself or any of the others. They are just great American Hero's that have things go wrong, just like the real world. You never have the feeling that the truth may be being exaggerated to feed any egos
Which character – as performed by Zach McLarty – was your favorite?
Dakota. He seams like a good honest guy. But all the hero's in this book are worth noting. After all they all put their lives on the line for our freedom
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes. I did spend time sitting in my driveway listening until the chapter ended because i didnt want to miss anything
Any additional comments?
A very well written book. we really have some great Americans protecting us overseas
5 of 6 people found this review helpful