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On September 15th, Dakota Meyer became the first living Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Part of a joint U.S./Afghan Army operation that headed into the village of Ganjgal on September 8, 2009, he and his fellow Marines soon discovered that, what was supposed to be a key leader engagement with villagers renouncing the Taliban, was actually an ambush. Separated from his four-man team, Meyer charged into the kill zone five separate times, providing cover and essential aid to the wounded as he searched for his brothers in arms. He is credited with saving 36 lives and killing at least eight insurgents. Undeterred by constant gunfire and grenades, Meyer finally found his missing teammates, who had tragically all fallen to enemy fire. He carried their bodies back to base, and to this day, wears their names on bracelets. “I’m getting recognized for what I did, but this medal is not about me," Meyer told Maxim. "It’s about the men and women serving right now, and those who will be serving afterward. They’re the true heroes.”
Watch Dakota lead 10 elite vets in our Second Annual Maximum Warrior contest.