Dakota Meyer Attempted Suicide, Book Reveals
by Dan Lamothe
Military Times, Aug 8, 2012
WEST MILFORD, N.J. — Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer attempted to kill himself in 2010, one year before he became the first living Marine in 38 years to receive the nation’s highest valor award.
That acknowledgement is among several jarring revelations in a new book written by Meyer and best-selling author Bing West.
“Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War,” due to be published Sept. 25, chronicles Meyer’s childhood in Kentucky, his time in the Marine Corps and the disastrous mission on Sept. 8, 2009, that saw Meyer and his team of U.S. and Afghan troops ambushed, overrun and trapped for hours without any help.
Meyer, 24, is now a sergeant in the Individual Ready Reserve. He received the Medal of Honor from President Obama in September for braving enemy fire multiple times that day in an attempt to locate and rescue four missing members of his team.
A corporal at the time, he found the men dead in a hillside trench and helped carry the bodies out of the valley. Marine Corps Times obtained an advanced copy of the book and met with Meyer on Tuesday in New Jersey, where he was visiting friends.
That right there was rock bottom. I could never get lower than that, you know? And seeing how close it was that I was to take my own life, I think it’s something that a lot of veterans go through coming back and dealing with the realities of war — Sgt Dakota Meyer
In a wide-ranging interview, he discussed its contents, his memories and what it’s like living in the public eye as a Medal of Honor recipient.
Meyer wrestled with whether to disclose the suicide attempt, he said, but decided to do so because it shows the realities of war. The close call occurred in September 2010, just days after the first anniversary of the battle in Ganjgal, a small village in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, Meyer said.
He had been drinking at a friend’s house in Kentucky, he said, and on the way home pulled his pickup truck over and took from the glove compartment what he thought was a loaded Glock pistol.
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