Book Review of "Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War" by Dakota Meyer

Updated on February 14, 2018

Dakota Meyer

Early Beginnings

Dakota Meyer spent his childhood in Columbia, Kentucky. He came from a very humble background as he never met his biological father and he moved around a lot with his biological mother who was a struggling single parent. However, he never complained about his childhood. One of the things that was noticed is that from things he mentions early on in his life, he had integrity. "All that testosterone made me a little rough around the edges. I tried to have some sensitivity around sensitive people, but generally, I would rather have punched a guy and gotten punched back," claims Dakota Meyer. He said something in high school that upset and offended his cousin, Jenny. When she got into a car wreck and went into a coma he went to visit her in the hospital and whispered to her, " I love you, everything is going to be alright," as she squeezed his hand. He thought that he was doing good on the sensitive thing up until he insulted a girl and she threw a pair of scissors at him. Since he was the one who started the fight, he was suspended and was told he better master the whole "sensitivity thing" before he encountered a girl who owned a gun. So, he tried to work on the sensitive side of himself. He found it easy to talk to guys. However, he realized he had problems talking to girls. So when he asked the school guidance counselor for help with that she told him, "Be honest and upfront, care about what others are doing and what they care about, don't tease, listen, listen, listen, and take people's emotions and worries seriously. Special reminder: do not make fun of people in public. Write that on your hand." He played football and dated several girls, preferring brunettes. Upon graduating from high school he enlisted in the Marines and trained to be a sniper. He did not want to go into the armed services and not see combat. He wanted to be infantry. In 2007, he was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, with the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines. His second deployment was to Afghanistan in the Kunar Province with Embedded Training Team 2-8.

Dakota Meyer

The Battle

His team of Marines was supposed to meet with village elders when they were ambushed. The Afghanistan soldiers who were fighting alongside the Americans were called "Askars". The opponent or the Taliban were referred to as "Dushman" which meant bandits or thieves. It was September 8, 2009, around the village of Ganjigal that three Marines and a Navy Corpsman went missing in action. Dakota Meyer entered the area knowing there were insurgents there and found the dead bodies. With the aid of the Askars he helped move the bodies to a safe location. The moving of the dead bodies of his fellow brothers in arms was one of the harder things to read about in the book. It would be a very difficult position to be in. Even though what he did was in my opinion, heroic, he appears to feel a personal sense of responsibility in the deaths and feels like a failure. One of the scarier parts of the book is when he was talking about being in a truck with his weapon and there was a Taliban shooter who shot and killed an Askar right by him. Dakota Meyer knew that the guy was watching him but could not tell where he was. Why he did not shoot Dakota Meyer is unknown. It was also then that he helped evacuate 12 wounded soldiers while helping cover 24 Marines and soldiers escape being killed.

Medal of Honor

It was on November 6, 2010, that General Amos, the Combatant of the Marines Corps said that a living Marine had been nominated for the Medal of Honor. It was revealed that the Marine was Dakota Meyer in "The Marine Corps Times". When the staff of President Obama tried to contact Dakota, they were informed that he was working his job in construction and should call when he was on his lunch break.

It was on September 15, 2011, that a ceremony was held at the White House to honor Dakota Meyer with the Medal of Honor and at his request those who had died. Even though the ceremony was honoring him, he felt like a failure the whole time according to what he says in the book, Into the Fire.

The Battle

The Fallen Who Were Honored

1st Lt. Michael Johnson, 25, of Virginia Beach, VA

Staff Sgt. Aaron Kenefick, 30, of Roswell, GA

Gunnery Sgt. Edwin Wayne Johnson Jr., 31, Columbus, GA

Hospital Corpsman Third Class, James R. Layton, 22, of Riverbank, CA

Army Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth W. Westbook, 41, of Shiprock, MN who later died of his wounds

I can tell you character traits I admire and work to develop in myself- perserverance , self-discipline, courage to stand up for what is right even when it is against one's friend's or one's self.

— Dalia Magahed

"I am Not a Hero"

Civilian Life

Despite how young he was, how much he accomplished, and how grueling the work was he never considered himself to be a hero. After Dakota Meyer returned to civilian life he tried to commit suicide with a Glock pistol and failed. Prior to this he had spent weeks in a P.T.S.D. treatment facility in Fort Thomas, KY. Since the suicide attempt had failed he thought that the time he spent in the facility had done him good and was the reason he was still alive. Dakota Meyer and Bing West published the book, Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War on September 25, 2012. He is presently married to Bristol Palin with whom he has two biological children and a stepson.

Dakota Meyer

What impresses you most about Dakota Meyer?

See results

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)