Wednesday, September 26, 2012

MOH Dakota Meyer, tests of valor

Dakota Meyer could have just returned home and then left it at that. Sure, he made appearances like most of the rare Medal of Honor heroes, but he decided to give even more.

He's talking about Combat PTSD and in the process, saving lives. Dakota is one of hundreds of veterans attempting suicide. There is no doubt in my mind that is what is happening quietly across the nation.

If you are trying to get someone you know to get help for Combat PTSD, make sure they read this so they know, this has nothing to do with "lacking courage" or being mentally weak. It has more to do with going where few others have been, doing what they had to do, seeing what they had to see and then hitting that brick wall where memories take over.

Bearing both the Medal of Honor and trauma
September 23, 2012
(CBS News) Starting over after a traumatic event is never an easy task, not even for a young man this nation honors as a hero. Our Cover Story is reported by National Security Correspondent David Martin:

For Dakota Meyer, the Medal of Honor is a full-time job, which keeps him on the road 20 or more days each month.

... As when he appeared at a job fair for veterans in Quantico, Va.:

"When they told me that I would be receiving the Medal of Honor I told them that I didn't want it, because I don't feel like a hero," Meyer said. "But then the president said something to me: 'It's bigger than you.' And I never really thought about that until afterward, and it is bigger than me."

Behind that jaunty air lies some of the toughest lessons any young man ever had to learn.

First, there was the battle in a remote Afghan valley for which he received the medal - a bloody, five-hour firefight which left four Marines and one soldier dead.

Meyer called it the worst day of his life - "A day that has forever changed my life."

Meyer and his fellow Marines drove into a gauntlet of fire from up to 100 insurgents. He went back again and again, trying to reach buddies trapped in the ambush. But he didn't get there in time. And he has been haunted by that ever since. read more here

Meyer got some post-traumatic stress counseling, and moved back in with his father, Mike, on the farm where he grew up in the Kentucky hills.

"You come home to this peaceful place in the country," said Martin. "About as far removed from war as you can get. What was it like coming home?"

"A shocker," Meyer said. "It's hard living here. It's easy fighting, you know, 'cause it's, it's simple. Like, war simplifies life in my mind."

Meyer was home, but his father could see the war was still with his son.

Meyer's father said Dakota asked for new locks on the doors. "Make sure the house was locked up every night. . . . He'd always want to have one or two guns in every vehicle."

"So he always wanted a weapon close," he said, noting that for three months Meyer slept with a weapon - a pistol on his chest.

"Did you try to talk to anybody about it?" Martin asked.

"What's there to talk about?" Dakota replied.

"Get it out of your own mind and into somebody else's?"

"You know, why bother somebody else with it?" Meyer said. "It's just part of it."

Believing he had become a burden to his family, Dakota turned to the bottle. One night driving home he stopped his truck and pulled out a gun.
read more here

Now that you've heard his story, think about this. If a Medal of Honor Hero didn't get what he needed out of treatment, what chance does any other veteran have?

Dakota's story is like the 75 percent of those who attempted suicide were seen somewhere in the outpatient health care system within 30 days before their suicide attempt. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for what he did in combat but should get a medal for what he has done after it.

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