Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Presidential Beer For Medal Of Honor Hero

UPDATE, Sept. 16: President serves homebrewed White House beer
President Obama chatted over beers with Dakota Meyer on the patio outside of the Oval Office today, according to Press Secretary Jay Carney. The White House posted a photo of the meeting to the official Flickr. Tomorrow afternoon, the President will present Meyer with the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House. The 23-year-old former Marine Corps Sergeant, from Greensburg, Kentucky, is a combat veteran from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Meyer is the first Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and also the first Marine to receive the Medal since the Vietnam War. He is being honored for one particular action of "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" in the Ganjgal Valley in eastern Afghanistan on Sept 8, 2009 that occurred when he was 21 years old and a corporal.

Carney wrote on Twitter that the President’s staff called Meyer during the weekend in preparation for the ceremony.

"Meyer asked the staffer if he could have a beer with the President. POTUS invited Dakota to come by the White House this afternoon," Carney tweeted. He also tweeted a brief recap of Meyer's acts of extraordinary courage.

During a six-hour firefight with Taliban insurgents, Meyer went on a rescue mission and saved the lives of 13 Marines and Army soldiers, as well as 23 Afghan soldiers, while providing cover for the troops to fight their way out. Five US soldiers were killed. Meyer killed at least eight insurgents despite being wounded, according to military officials. (Above: Meyer during his tour of duty in Kunar province, Afghanistan)

The private beer bash was not listed on President Obama's official schedule for Wednesday. He traveled to North Carolina today for two events promoting the American Jobs Act, and in the evening will make remarks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 34th Annual Awards Gala in Washington, DC.

*A note on homebrewed White House beer: As first reported here on Obama Foodorama, the Obama's chefs are the only ones in history to homebrew at the White House.

From the White House announcement of the 2:45 PM Medal of Honor ceremony:

President Barack Obama will award Dakota Meyer, a former active duty Marine Corps Corporal, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.

He will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as a member of Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on September 8, 2009 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He will be the third living recipient - and first Marine - to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. He and his family will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service.

*Top photo by Pete Souza/White House; second by AP

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