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In the fall of 2009, Taliban insurgents ambushed a patrol of Afghan soldiers and Marine advisors in a mountain village called Ganjigal. Firing from entrenched positions, the enemy was positioned to wipe out one hundred men who were pinned down and were repeatedly refused artillery support. Ordered to remain behind with the vehicles, twenty-one year-old Marine corporal Dakota Meyer disobeyed orders and attacked to rescue his comrades.
With a brave driver at the wheel, Meyer stood in the gun turret exposed to withering fire, rallying Afghan troops to follow. Over the course of the five hours, he charged into the valley time and again. Employing a variety of machine guns, rifles, grenade launchers, and even a rock, Meyer repeatedly repulsed enemy attackers, carried wounded Afghan soldiers to safety, and provided cover for dozens of others to escape—supreme acts of valor and determination. In the end, Meyer and four stalwart comrades—an Army captain, an Afghan sergeant major, and two Marines—cleared the battlefield and came to grips with a tragedy they knew could have been avoided. For his actions on that day, Meyer became the first living Marine in three decades to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Into the Fire tells the full story of the chaotic battle of Ganjigal for the first time, in a compelling, human way that reveals it as a microcosm of our recent wars. Meyer takes us from his upbringing on a farm in Kentucky, through his Marine and sniper training, onto the battlefield, and into the vexed aftermath of his harrowing exploits in a battle that has become the stuff of legend.
Investigations ensued, even as he was pitched back into battle alongside U.S. Army soldiers who embraced him as a fellow grunt. When it was over, he returned to the States to confront living with the loss of his closest friends. This is a tale of American values and upbringing, of stunning heroism, and of adjusting to loss and to civilian life.
We see it all through Meyer’s eyes, bullet by bullet, with raw honesty in telling of both the errors that resulted in tragedy and the resolve of American soldiers, U.S. Marines, and Afghan soldiers who’d been abandoned and faced certain death.
Meticulously researched and thrillingly told, with nonstop pace and vivid detail, Into the Fire is the unvarnished story of a modern American hero.
Praise for Into the Fire
“A story of men at their best and at their worst . . . leaves you gaping in admiration at Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer’s courage.”—National Review
“Meyer’s dazzling bravery wasn’t momentary or impulsive but deliberate and sustained.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[A] cathartic, heartfelt account . . . Combat memoirs don’t get any more personal.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A great contribution to the discussion of an agonizingly complex subject.”—The Virginian-Pilot
“Black Hawk Down meets Lone Survivor.”—Library Journal
“The Way Forward will help every reader master their own challenges—this is a must-read book!” —Admiral Bill McRaven, U.S. Navy (Retired) and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Make Your Bed
American Sniper meets Make Your Bed in these life lessons from decorated United States service members and New York Times bestselling authors Robert O’Neill and Dakota Meyer—an in-depth, fearless, and ultimately redemptive account of what it takes to survive and thrive on battlefields from Afghanistan and Iraq to our daily lives, and how the perils of war help us hold onto our humanity.
Rob O’Neill and Dakota Meyer are two of the most decorated and recognized US service members: O’Neill killed the world’s most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, and Meyer was the first living Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. But beyond their actions and courage in combat, O’Neill and Meyer also have much in common in civilian life: they are both sought-after public speakers, advocates for veterans, and share a non-PC sense of humor. Combining the best of military memoirs and straight-talking self-help, The Way Forward alternates between O’Neill’s and Meyer’s perspectives, looking back with humor at even the darkest war stories, and sharing lessons they learned along the way.
The Way Forward presents O’Neill and Meyer’s philosophy in combat and life. This isn’t a book about the glory of war and combat, but one about facing your enemies, some who are flesh and blood and some that are not: Your thoughts. Your doubts. Your boredom and your regrets. From Rob’s dogged repetition at the free throw line of his childhood basketball court to Dakota’s pursuit of EMT and firefighter credentials to aid accident victims, these two American heroes turn their experiences into valuable lessons for every reader.
Gritty and down-to-earth, O’Neill and Meyer tell their stories with candor and vulnerability to help readers handle stress, tackle their biggest obstacles, and exceed their expectations of themselves, while keeping life’s battles in perspective with a sense of humor.