Into the Fire

Title: Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle of the Afghan War
Published by: Random House
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Authors: Bing West
ISBN13: 978-0812993400
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The story of what Dakota did… will be told for generations.” – President Barack Obama, from remarks given at Meyer’s Medal of Honor ceremony

In the fall of 2009, Taliban insurgents ambushed a patrol of Afghan soldiers and Marine advisers 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 repeatedly refused artillery support. Ordered to remain behind with the vehicles, 21 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, facing certain death. Employing a variety of machineguns, 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, Dakota 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, told in a compelling, human way that serves 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 US 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 Dakota’s eyes, bullet-by-bullet, with raw honesty in telling both the errors that resulted in tragedy and the resolve of American Solders, Marines and Afghan soldiers – abandoned and facing certain death.

Meticulously researched and thrillingly told, with nonstop pace and vivid detail, Into the Fire is the true story of a modern American hero.

“Sergeant Meyer embodies all that is good about our nation’s Corps of Marines…. His heroic actions …will forever be etched in our Corps’ rich legacy of courage and valor.” – General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps


“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