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Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War

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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 advisors in a mountain village called Ganjigal. Firing from entrenched positions, the enemy was positioned to wipe out one hundred men who w “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 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 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


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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 advisors in a mountain village called Ganjigal. Firing from entrenched positions, the enemy was positioned to wipe out one hundred men who w “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 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 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

30 review for Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    There is nothing poet-warrior about this book. It is written in a straight-forward and clear, almost staccato, style. There are vague implications from McClatchy news that some of this story is fabricated or exaggerated. I wonder if they read the same book as I did? Meyer's tale is never one of self-aggrandizement. It is one of regret, one of a world with little nuance ruled by people who see nuance in every situation. It's about how we treat our heroes--how we make them into machines, place them There is nothing poet-warrior about this book. It is written in a straight-forward and clear, almost staccato, style. There are vague implications from McClatchy news that some of this story is fabricated or exaggerated. I wonder if they read the same book as I did? Meyer's tale is never one of self-aggrandizement. It is one of regret, one of a world with little nuance ruled by people who see nuance in every situation. It's about how we treat our heroes--how we make them into machines, place them into impossible situations, give them conflicting orders, and then wait outside. Judging them as they complete the task. Maybe they die. Maybe they succeed. Maybe they disobey orders and we crucify them--even if they succeed. If you want to know who Dakota Meyer is, he is the guy who was working as a concrete pourer when he received a call from President Obama informing him that he would be awarded the Medal of Honor--the highest honor a Marine can achieve. He thanked the President and then went back and finished his day of back-breaking labor. I'm glad to have people like Dakota Meyer and Captain Will Swenson in it. I couldn't do what they did. I'm also sad that we still live in a world that needs such men--but we do need them.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    Meyer's honesty is unnerving. His account of what happened is heroic, he does not "pretty up" his actions or what he was thinking before, during or after the battle. What sticks with me is that we send guys like Dakota Meyer, Pat Tillman and thousands of other Americans to Iraq and Afghanistan where they face hell for us.....but the nation is not in these wars with them. The work falls to people who go and we don't think about them until CNN flashes a story of American casualties...then we go ba Meyer's honesty is unnerving. His account of what happened is heroic, he does not "pretty up" his actions or what he was thinking before, during or after the battle. What sticks with me is that we send guys like Dakota Meyer, Pat Tillman and thousands of other Americans to Iraq and Afghanistan where they face hell for us.....but the nation is not in these wars with them. The work falls to people who go and we don't think about them until CNN flashes a story of American casualties...then we go back to doing what ever it was we were doing. I was reading the chapters on the Battle of Ganjgal one Sunday when my son had an NFL game on TV and a baseball game on the radio and a tremendous guilt overcame me - guilt for not doing more to support our troops, guilt for our professional athletes who make millions while our troops are patrolling valleys in Asia, guilt for letting petty problems consume me. Meyer and his comrades, alive and dead, deserve our gratitude and respect.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War is a pretty fast read about a 6 hour battle. There was just no quit in Dakota Meyer. Here is one part of one of his five attempts to get to his trapped team, where he is being swarmed by a group of Taliban fighters: (view spoiler)[ I fired into his chest and he went down like he had hit a glass wall. A bullet doesn’t blow a man back like in the movies. Either he stumbles on or he falls dead. This man fell dead Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War is a pretty fast read about a 6 hour battle. There was just no quit in Dakota Meyer. Here is one part of one of his five attempts to get to his trapped team, where he is being swarmed by a group of Taliban fighters: (view spoiler)[ I fired into his chest and he went down like he had hit a glass wall. A bullet doesn’t blow a man back like in the movies. Either he stumbles on or he falls dead. This man fell dead. Rod was yelling at me—maybe I was hypnotized for a second by the death. There was a guy trying to open the right door. I couldn’t depress the 50-cal that low. “I can’t get him” I yelled. “The gun won’t go down enough!” It takes the brain twelve thousandths of a second to react to danger. My mind was a complete blank. I had fired so many thousands of rounds that I didn’t think what I was doing. Once you’ve practiced a motion long enough, it becomes second nature. Some researchers call it “expertise-induced amnesia.” Athletes call it being in the ‘zone’. I call it self-preservation. I grabbed my M4, leaned out, and shot the guy four or five times in the shoulder and the neck. It was like shooting a zombie. There was no shock power in the little 5 56-millimeter bullets. He fell to the ground. I pivoted back to the .50-cal and grabbed the spade handle. The weapon, my hands, and my eyes were working as a trained unit, independent of my brain. Man, sight picture, shoot. You don’t really look at the target. The enemy remains out of focus; you concentrate on the sight picture. Man, sight picture, shoot. I hit one or two guys next to the truck and the others ducked back into the ditch. Valadez came back on the radio, “Rod, watch your front!” Rod was focused on keeping traction in the loose gravel. If the truck got stuck, even for a moment, we’d be toast. He looked ahead to see a bearded, hatless man in his mid-thirties, dressed in brick-red man-jams with a green chest rig full of ammo, running toward the truck and firing an AK at us from his hip. “Hold on, Homey!” Rod yelled. He hit the accelerator. The truck hit the man squarely in his chest. There was a bump, and then another bump under the tires. “Holy shit!” Rod yelled. “I just ran over a guy.” “Back up and do it again!” (hide spoiler)] Meyer was not your ideal Marine until it was time for battle. Tough guy to command in peacetime, absolutely the guy you want on your team in a fight. The book will demonstrate how Rules of Engagement (ROE) can help or can get your guys killed. The ROE here did not support the mission and the higher HQ’s did not support the troops once the battle was joined. Read the book to see just how FUBAR’d things were from the start. Meyer “went up the hill” five times that morning (along with several others). He rescued his Afghan allies (Askars) as well as fellow US soldiers. He was not successful in rescuing his teammates (He had been replaced on the team for the day by another NCO). This is a terrible burden for him and the book deals with his struggles afterwards. Should we be there, 15 years after 9/11? Don’t know but we sure as hell don’t appreciate the sacrifice these men and women make. We don’t support them fully either.

  4. 5 out of 5

    David

    An unusual memoir. First, Dakota Meyer is the only living soldier to have received the Medal of Honor in over thirty years. The Medal is usually awarded posthumously. I'm very pleased that Congress and the President found his incredible courage as well as actions deserving of such a high award. Dakota's story is not a happy one. In fact, it is a very sad one that ends in the death of his "brothers" in his small unit of advisers in Afghanistan. To an extent I was lost in the action of the retellin An unusual memoir. First, Dakota Meyer is the only living soldier to have received the Medal of Honor in over thirty years. The Medal is usually awarded posthumously. I'm very pleased that Congress and the President found his incredible courage as well as actions deserving of such a high award. Dakota's story is not a happy one. In fact, it is a very sad one that ends in the death of his "brothers" in his small unit of advisers in Afghanistan. To an extent I was lost in the action of the retelling of his story. When suddenly he discovers all of his dead comrades I was shocked back into the reality that this wasn't a Hollywood production, but in fact a true story. Once again, the writing, although clear, will not receive any awards. However, for the purposes of telling the story of his life, his education and training, his years of service in the Marines and the telling of the battle at Ganjigal, it is more than adequate. Much like Dakota, I don't have a lot more to say. It's a somber story of a man that did his best to save the lives of his best friends and failed. But, he was not a failure as a man. I very much hope that in the coming years he will be able to forgive himself and enjoy a well-deserved happy life. It won't be easy and there is no guarantee that he will be successful in his personal efforts to overcome the sense of failure and the ghosts which keep him from even one night of rest. He exemplifies the strength and values of warriors since the time of Alexander the Great.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Read Ng

    This was a GoodReads giveaway. What a great tale. A humble and honorable American Warrior. Such an epic story of bravery and heroism. The detailed setting put you into the thick of battle. I wonder if under the same circumstances just how early in the fire fight I would have frozen into inaction, waiting for a hero like Dakota to come to my rescue? I hope Dakota finds peace with knowing that he did right by his fellow combatants and for his fellow Americans. His actions make me proud to be an Ame This was a GoodReads giveaway. What a great tale. A humble and honorable American Warrior. Such an epic story of bravery and heroism. The detailed setting put you into the thick of battle. I wonder if under the same circumstances just how early in the fire fight I would have frozen into inaction, waiting for a hero like Dakota to come to my rescue? I hope Dakota finds peace with knowing that he did right by his fellow combatants and for his fellow Americans. His actions make me proud to be an American.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michele Hoover

    This is a heart-wrenching account of one Marine's mission to rescue his team in Ganjigal, and his battle to regain a life after returning to the U.S. I finished this book inside of a day - unable to put it down. Beginning with a brief history of Dakota's life, then the forming of Team Monti and the interpersonal relationships that developed, much of the book is devoted to the ambush at Ganjigal. The story is told exactly as Dakota remembers it. I received this book as a First Read from Random Ho This is a heart-wrenching account of one Marine's mission to rescue his team in Ganjigal, and his battle to regain a life after returning to the U.S. I finished this book inside of a day - unable to put it down. Beginning with a brief history of Dakota's life, then the forming of Team Monti and the interpersonal relationships that developed, much of the book is devoted to the ambush at Ganjigal. The story is told exactly as Dakota remembers it. I received this book as a First Read from Random House on Goodreads and highly recommend this book to every U.S. citizen.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Terry Koressel

    Dakota Meyer is a hero! Plain and simple. Fearless, brave, courageous....one cannot find enough adjectives to describe this Medal of Honor recipient. A hero I hope that I could be in the same circumstances, but knowing that I would fall short. On the other hand, the book itself is just average if you compare it to the spell binding and riveting Lone Survivor and House to House...other books on heroes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Into The Fire lacked emotion or passion. The book almost ha Dakota Meyer is a hero! Plain and simple. Fearless, brave, courageous....one cannot find enough adjectives to describe this Medal of Honor recipient. A hero I hope that I could be in the same circumstances, but knowing that I would fall short. On the other hand, the book itself is just average if you compare it to the spell binding and riveting Lone Survivor and House to House...other books on heroes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Into The Fire lacked emotion or passion. The book almost had the feel of a documentary....telling the facts without the intimate emotion and attachment to the intensity of the battle. Maybe that is the best description....it lacked intensity. The authors tried, but it just didn't happen. By contrast, I could not put down Lone Survivor once I started. I was shaken by its overwhelming intensity. Into The Fire did not have the same impact. Yet, I have encouraged everyone I know to read Into The Fire to support Dakota Meyer. A true American hero!!! Bravo!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I almost have nothing to say about this, because nothing I say can express how I feel. I can't encompass the drama, the pain and the epic sweep of this book, and about the only coherent reaction I have is "drop everything and read it now." Incoherent reactions have included nausea, weeping, rage and awe. It's a smoother, more polished style than Lone Survivor, but smoother doesn't mean less gut-wrenching. Someday this will probably be made into a movie that buffs out the raw edges and features l I almost have nothing to say about this, because nothing I say can express how I feel. I can't encompass the drama, the pain and the epic sweep of this book, and about the only coherent reaction I have is "drop everything and read it now." Incoherent reactions have included nausea, weeping, rage and awe. It's a smoother, more polished style than Lone Survivor, but smoother doesn't mean less gut-wrenching. Someday this will probably be made into a movie that buffs out the raw edges and features lots of shots of famous-for-the-moment actors screaming and running in slow motion. Don't wait for the Hollywood version--read the story that Hollywood couldn't make up now, before it gets glossed over into oblivion.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Nevins

    Meyer is a Marine, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, and a recipent of the Congressional Medal of Honor. INTO THE FIRE is the story of how he achieved this distinction. Military Historianm Bing West said of Meyer's actions; "most acts of bravery occur at a single point in time; Dakota rushed death, not once, not twice, but five times". But this is a story with plenty of contoversy, Meyer was refused backup, disobeyed orders and risked all to find his team. This book is an eye opener. Ultimate Meyer is a Marine, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, and a recipent of the Congressional Medal of Honor. INTO THE FIRE is the story of how he achieved this distinction. Military Historianm Bing West said of Meyer's actions; "most acts of bravery occur at a single point in time; Dakota rushed death, not once, not twice, but five times". But this is a story with plenty of contoversy, Meyer was refused backup, disobeyed orders and risked all to find his team. This book is an eye opener. Ultimately it is about what one individual is capable of achieving and the costs of such brave actions. I'm not sure I have ever read anthing like INTO THE FIRE.

  10. 5 out of 5

    David

    Pretty decent read about a young mans trials in combat, and like most CMOH awardees, being a hero is not something he planned. He did what he did to save his brother's and others on the field of battle. He also shows how often times, leadership fails to listen to what "the troops know" and yet, fail to listen and accept counsel from those more combat experienced; it also shows that sometimes, a leaders objectives may not be what they think best! Yet, combat leaders must often follow orders they Pretty decent read about a young mans trials in combat, and like most CMOH awardees, being a hero is not something he planned. He did what he did to save his brother's and others on the field of battle. He also shows how often times, leadership fails to listen to what "the troops know" and yet, fail to listen and accept counsel from those more combat experienced; it also shows that sometimes, a leaders objectives may not be what they think best! Yet, combat leaders must often follow orders they know may end in tragedy. A good insightful book about combat from the level of combat soldier.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Takahashi

    Born and raised in Columbia, Kentucky, Dakota Meyer had no idea he would follow in his father's footsteps. As a child, he was constantly on the move with his mother, who later left him with his stepfather, Big Mike, who adopted him. Dakota grew up on a 300-acre farm where he learned to cut down Tobacco and actually rode around on his cow, Tinker Bell. In high school, he earned a spot on the football team, and was quite good. Although his dream of playing college ball were dashed after several kn Born and raised in Columbia, Kentucky, Dakota Meyer had no idea he would follow in his father's footsteps. As a child, he was constantly on the move with his mother, who later left him with his stepfather, Big Mike, who adopted him. Dakota grew up on a 300-acre farm where he learned to cut down Tobacco and actually rode around on his cow, Tinker Bell. In high school, he earned a spot on the football team, and was quite good. Although his dream of playing college ball were dashed after several knee injuries, Meyer changed his fate; after speaking with a Marine recruiter, who said he wouldn't last, he decided to prove this man wrong. What most don't realize is that Dakota grew up with guns and his ability to shoot one was uncanny. After boot camp, in Paris Island, South Carolina, Meyer spent several months in the School of Infantry (SOI) and later finally got his position in the Marine rifle battalion. Despite his amazing ability with his weapon, Meyer had a knack for upsetting his superiors For example, while training in the California Mountain, he ended spending the night on the Deck, in the dead of winter, and getting kicked out of the program, which he was later re-instated after his CO calmed down. Nevertheless, Meyer continued to excel and later earned his position as a rifle man. After being deployed to Iraq, he almost lost his hand to a spider bite, of all things, and spent several months drowning in Kentucky Bourbon until he was told to get it together. When he rejoined his regimen in Hawaii, and with a new rank of Corporal, Meyer was given the opportunity to train and advise Afghani forces. He saw this as his opportunity to see action and gladly accepted the offer. While in Afghanistan, stationed at Combat Outpost Monti, he definitely saw action that not only opened his eyes, but in a way, made him more eager to get into battle. When he was not fighting Taliban insurgents (aka. The Dushmen) he was bonding with his brothers (The Monti 4) and the Afghan troops. He leaned about their customs, had countless conversations about everything, and what to expect from the surrounding villages. Sadly, in the fight for survival, people will do some very backward things just to stay alive. However, Meyer's life changed at the Battle of Ganjigal. After being told that he, and his fellow soldiers, were only in Afghanistan to server as advisers and not fight, Meyer constantly questioned his CO, which resulted in him staying behind to watch the Humvees. In other words, he was told to stay behind (to prove a point that he was to advise), and he was extremely angry and frustrated with this call. However, when the call for weapons support was going unanswered, and his unit was in danger, Meyer makes a decision that could cost him his life and. The rest, they say, is history. I usually don't read a whole lot of Adult Non-Fiction, but WOW! When I heard about this extraordinary soldier, and what he did, I wanted to learn about the situation from his perspective. Unlike most nonfiction accounts, which are generally based on research and interviews, there is something about the first-hand account that includes information that no one could know other than then person. Bing West, the man who helped Dakota mEyer write this book, is a Marine Veteran who has been writing military nonfiction for quite some time and I have to hand it to him: he is one heck of a storyteller. Putting aside politics, readers will be engrossed in this story about an every day American boy who chose to join the military to make a difference and do something worthwhile in his life. I think its pointless to argue the fact that having a career is hopeless if you don't go to college. The U.S. Military is an option that young men and woman can pursue, especially if they are looking for structure and discipline. Also, the GI Bill is pretty neat incentive if he or she wants to go to college. For Meyer, his adolescence got the best of him (i.e., skipping school) so rather than whining about it, he became a Marine because he had a set of skills that would help him to become successful. However, what is awesome about this account is that is documents the hard cold truth about war and what these young men and women are willing to do to make sure that our country, and his fellow troops, are safe and secure. I was just blown away by the honesty and candidness about life as a sniper; snipers cannot hesitate nor can they take the time to battle with their conscience and morals. Being sniper is about doing a job without thinking twice and being precise and focused. One thing I did learn is that you never ask a sniper about how many kills he has made. Snipers do not glorify or advertise their kills because a sniper is there to protect his squad and provide coverage. I thought all military men and women were humble, but the most humble of all are the snipers. I will confess that I am an NCIS junkie and that Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a former Marine sniper, also inspired me to pick up this book. All in all, I know have a new respect for anyone who want to put their life on the line to provide their fellow Americans with security and freedom that many countries are still fighting for. More importantly, this book spark a serious conversation about the way the military conducts its operations and if serious changes need to be made. I am so tempted to speak with Veterans about this whole situation because it really forces one to think the whole idea: in battle, do "we shoot first, then ask questions" or vice versa. Furthermore, have the rules of engagement evolved into a bureaucratic handbook that can cost hundreds of lives? Bring on the conversations!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carol Storm

    Tough, brutally honest account by a young Medal of Honor winner of what combat in Afghanistan is really like -- and a savage indictment of the hypocrisy, cowardice, and callousness of both the military chain of command and the spineless politicians of both parties who have prolonged this war for so many years.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bryon

    Do you live for a fight? Dakota Meyer lived for the fight. Dakota grew up as a Kentucky farm boy in a small town. He was challenged to become a marine by a marine recruiter and he accepted the challenge. He completed basic training and did his specialized training as a sniper. He went then went to Afghanistan as an advisor for the Afghan warriors. While in an area called, Ganjigal, he and his squad got into a firefight where he and another soldier would receive the Medal of Honor but also would Do you live for a fight? Dakota Meyer lived for the fight. Dakota grew up as a Kentucky farm boy in a small town. He was challenged to become a marine by a marine recruiter and he accepted the challenge. He completed basic training and did his specialized training as a sniper. He went then went to Afghanistan as an advisor for the Afghan warriors. While in an area called, Ganjigal, he and his squad got into a firefight where he and another soldier would receive the Medal of Honor but also would be a firefight that would cost soldiers their lives. NO SPOILERS. My first like is it was about a marine and I just like that it was about a Marine. My second like is it was about an American who went beyond the call of duty to try to save his fellow soldiers. And the third thing I like about the book is it is about who I believe is an American hero who again went beyond the call of duty. The theme I believe is that war is a place that brings a lot of demons into people's lives and can also take a lot of lives. Overall I believe that this was a good book. I'm definitely not a reader but this book was one I really was interested in and engaged in. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in war books or autobiographies.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    An American hero that I'll fight anyone that says otherwise. Truly selfless and someone to honor and respect. The book however reeks of a quick project by the author and lacks any connection on a personal or emotional level by the reader. It reads like it was written in a hurry.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    I have always tried to read the memoirs or biographies of Medal of Honor recipients. This is the memoir of the only “living” Marine recipient of the Medal of Honor in over 40 years. Sgt. Dakota Meyer begins by telling about some of the missions he had just prior to the Ganjigal episode. Then he proceeds to September 8, 2009 with ninety Afghan Soldiers and fifteen U.S. Military advisers moving into Ganjigal in the Kunar Province to meet with the village elders. The meeting was a trap. Sergeant Mey I have always tried to read the memoirs or biographies of Medal of Honor recipients. This is the memoir of the only “living” Marine recipient of the Medal of Honor in over 40 years. Sgt. Dakota Meyer begins by telling about some of the missions he had just prior to the Ganjigal episode. Then he proceeds to September 8, 2009 with ninety Afghan Soldiers and fifteen U.S. Military advisers moving into Ganjigal in the Kunar Province to meet with the village elders. The meeting was a trap. Sergeant Meyer was not with the team that day; he had been ordered to stay with the Afghan reinforcement troops at the entrance to the box canyon. The team reported the ambush and asked for help; which was refused. They asked for artillery barrage, which was refused. They asked for close air support and that also was refused. The reason for the refusal was the “rules of engagement”. Sgt. Meyer asked to go help his team and was refused. He disobeyed a direct order and went to help. Staff Sgt Juan Rodriquez-Chavez was driving the armored Humvee and Sgt. Meyer was on the gun. They headed straight into the shooting. The Taliban held the high ground. Over the next few hours they made five trips into the kill-zone to rescue wounded and dead Afghan and U.S. soldiers and marines. Sometimes Sgt Meyer was in hand to hand combat. Thirteen U.S. and Afghan soldiers died and most were wounded; they all might have died if not for Sgts Chavez and Meyer. Meyer feels he is a failure because he failed to save his team who all died that day. SSgt Chavez received the Navy Cross but because Sgt Meyer repeatedly left the protection of the vehicle he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Sgt Meyer reports these men died or were wounded because the chain of command failed them. Sgt Meyer tells the story of Army officer, Captain Swenson, who also was nominated for the Medal of Honor that fateful day, but the Army has lost or held up the paperwork even though the high ranking field officers keep pushing for the Award. It is reported the investigation whitewashed the whole event. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. Zach McLarty does a good job narrating the story. McLarty is an actor and writer who is making a name narrating audiobooks.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Urey Patrick

    This is a first-person account, as related by a young Marine using the language of young Marines from the perspective of young Marines… it is not great literature or great writing. It is a compelling and engrossing story of a young man’s development into a combat Marine, and its culmination in the day-long battle in Afghanistan resulting in his award of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Meyer’s heroism, courage and determination under fire (he returned into the battle five times, fighting his wa This is a first-person account, as related by a young Marine using the language of young Marines from the perspective of young Marines… it is not great literature or great writing. It is a compelling and engrossing story of a young man’s development into a combat Marine, and its culmination in the day-long battle in Afghanistan resulting in his award of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Meyer’s heroism, courage and determination under fire (he returned into the battle five times, fighting his way in and out to rescue wounded and retrieve dead) are simply astounding. The failures of command and the abysmal rules of engagement that prevented available support from being provided to Meyer and his comrades in the battle are inexplicable, inexcusable and ultimately responsible for the high casualty rate among US and Afghan troops, and the deaths of Meyer’s four fellow Marines. War cannot be fought from desks and with application of politically correct sympathies that simply ignore very real concerns of life and death among ones own troops and allies. It is beyond comprehension - beyond forgiveness. That said, this is Dakota Meyer’s story - and one can only reflect upon and repeat the sentiments embodied in the great Korean War movie “The Bridges at Toko-Ri”: “Where do we find such men?” So long as we continue to find them among us, the Republic is and will be safe.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melodie

    I was compelled to read this book after seeing Dakota Meyer interviewed on a late night talk show. The interview piqued my interest, but I had no idea exactly what this battle they talked about entailed.And Dakota Meyer is the first living Congressional Medal of Honor recipient in over thirty years. This medal is usually given posthumously. The battle,which took place in Afghanistan in 2009, was the result of an Taliban ambush. The battle was particularly fierce, and notable in that the back up I was compelled to read this book after seeing Dakota Meyer interviewed on a late night talk show. The interview piqued my interest, but I had no idea exactly what this battle they talked about entailed.And Dakota Meyer is the first living Congressional Medal of Honor recipient in over thirty years. This medal is usually given posthumously. The battle,which took place in Afghanistan in 2009, was the result of an Taliban ambush. The battle was particularly fierce, and notable in that the back up in the form of air support so sorely needed by the ground troops, was nonexistent for far too long because of command hesitancy and screw-ups down the line.As a result,many lives were lost and even more seriously wounded. Dakota lost every member of his team in that battle, despite his repeated attempts to save them. One of the most poignant parts of the book was the way in which he took responsibility for taking physical care of the bodies of his team-mates and their belongings.And tragic that he sees himself partly at fault for the deaths. The book is a short quick read, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wishes to better understand what our military men and women face in battle.This puts a very human face on the news we see every night from the comfort of our living rooms.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Jose

    Into the Fire by Dakota Meyer and Bing West is a first person point of view of the battle in Ganjigal, Afghanistan in 2009. This book describes the actions that Dakota Meyer took that, in return, allowed him to receive a Medal of Honor. Not only does this book account for Meyer’s experience in Afghanistan, but also talks about his childhood, all the sacrifices made and all the hardships Meyer faced to become a Marine. Dakota Meyer is a farm boy that lived in Kentucky who enlisted, hoping to be i Into the Fire by Dakota Meyer and Bing West is a first person point of view of the battle in Ganjigal, Afghanistan in 2009. This book describes the actions that Dakota Meyer took that, in return, allowed him to receive a Medal of Honor. Not only does this book account for Meyer’s experience in Afghanistan, but also talks about his childhood, all the sacrifices made and all the hardships Meyer faced to become a Marine. Dakota Meyer is a farm boy that lived in Kentucky who enlisted, hoping to be in combat. When faced with combat situations in Ganjigal, Meyer reacted with great courage and determination, but was shaken by the deaths and cold hearted decision of his superiors. This book is very well written; the vivid imagery and the description Dakota Meyer gives makes the reader feel like he/she is experiencing Dakota’s life first hand. I normally do not read non-fiction especially about wars and battles due to the fact that many of them have a lot of Military terms that isn’t explained very well, but I was able to fully understand this book. This book was very interesting, making you want to keep on reading until you finish the book. I would recommend this book to everyone, especially people that like to read about wars.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Read this book. Do not expect a 'how great am I" recount as in "Warrior's Rage" by Douglas Macgregor or "Front Burner: Al Qaeda's Attack on the USS Cole" by Kirk Lippold. The values that "Big" Mike Meyer instilled into his son would not allow that. While Meyer describes the fateful battle, the questioning mind of a (relatively) junior Marine comes through load an clear, and he does describe incidents where is actions were clearly inappropriate. The narrative does not come across as "I was the only Read this book. Do not expect a 'how great am I" recount as in "Warrior's Rage" by Douglas Macgregor or "Front Burner: Al Qaeda's Attack on the USS Cole" by Kirk Lippold. The values that "Big" Mike Meyer instilled into his son would not allow that. While Meyer describes the fateful battle, the questioning mind of a (relatively) junior Marine comes through load an clear, and he does describe incidents where is actions were clearly inappropriate. The narrative does not come across as "I was the only one who thought of it" instead it comes across as the people on the deck-plate, or front-line, not understanding what those "above" them are thinking. Hopefully CPT Will Swenson will soon receive the recognition that he deserves. Edit: On October 15, 2013 CPT Will Swenson was awarded the Medal of Honor. Please take a moment to read the citations for CPT Will Swenson and Sgt Dakota Meyers.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Larry

    This is from a "First Read - Goodreads" What a real first hand story of what our troops are experiencing in Afghanistan. I am sure it is the story of all wars. Our heroes, like Dakota Meyer, give their all and others just give them trouble and make their job harder or impossible. I learned more from the introduction than I have seen anywhere in news reports etc. In the epilogue the authors describe what their goals were in the writing of Into The Fire: "It illustrates three themes: a frustrating w This is from a "First Read - Goodreads" What a real first hand story of what our troops are experiencing in Afghanistan. I am sure it is the story of all wars. Our heroes, like Dakota Meyer, give their all and others just give them trouble and make their job harder or impossible. I learned more from the introduction than I have seen anywhere in news reports etc. In the epilogue the authors describe what their goals were in the writing of Into The Fire: "It illustrates three themes: a frustrating war, a misplaced strategy, and the grit of the American warrior." I can say they accomplished their goals completely. It is a tough story to read, but it is one every American should read. I watched on TV the Medal of Honor presentation and we heard the description of Dakota's actions, however it does not come close to the whole story. The book goes into the story of Dakota Meyer to give the reader a background. It is not over done and is necessary to see where our heroes come from.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jason Lewis

    Into the Fire is a first hand account of the triumphs and tragedies of the Afghan war that we are currently involved in. The story gives a true, no holds barred look into interaction among both fellow soldiers and trials and tribulations with those that are indigenous to the mountainside area. He creates a perspective of regret as the recipient of the medal, showing concern that if it were successful, the events leading up to the said occasion for nomination of the medal of honor would never hav Into the Fire is a first hand account of the triumphs and tragedies of the Afghan war that we are currently involved in. The story gives a true, no holds barred look into interaction among both fellow soldiers and trials and tribulations with those that are indigenous to the mountainside area. He creates a perspective of regret as the recipient of the medal, showing concern that if it were successful, the events leading up to the said occasion for nomination of the medal of honor would never have happened. But the book still shows the passion for the representation of the job at hand and for the military organization as a whole. As a first hand perspective of the war we have pushed ourselves into, it gives a whole new look to many of the fast paced, motions aside decisions those involved must make everyday facing those out there that the US is perceived as the ultimate enemy towards.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Eisenberg

    Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer is a soldier, not a writer. He almost certainly has a stirring story to tell. Unfortunately, he does not have the writing skill necessary to tell it in a compelling way. While serving in the Marines, Meyer appears to have been everything you would want in a Marine---gung ho, highly skilled, dedicated, loyal, and selfless. Into the Fire revolves around Meyer's experience of one of the worst battles of the US involvement in Afghanistan, during which he display Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer is a soldier, not a writer. He almost certainly has a stirring story to tell. Unfortunately, he does not have the writing skill necessary to tell it in a compelling way. While serving in the Marines, Meyer appears to have been everything you would want in a Marine---gung ho, highly skilled, dedicated, loyal, and selfless. Into the Fire revolves around Meyer's experience of one of the worst battles of the US involvement in Afghanistan, during which he displayed extraordinary initiative and courage. This is the type of story I can get into. But I could not get into this telling of the story, because it's so poorly written. It lacks clarity, fails to provide any interesting information (let alone valuable insight), and is utterly devoid of any affecting content. It's just not a good read. I thank Dakota Meyer for his service, but I cannot recommend his book. Read something else.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This was a very interesting and well written book about Dakota Meyers experience in the battle of Ganjigal. A majority of the book is dedicated to the battle of Ganjigal, told from Dakotas perspective. The battle is depicted extremely well, it draws you in and its hard to put down until its over because you have to see what happens next. I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads and highly recommend it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    I received this book free from Good reads. Thanks to Dakota Meyer and all the other military serving our Country. Having worked with ammo via my job, I found it intersting the ammo that he used. Also, he got across how he felt in a sit down across from me way, and I liked that. I would love to get his autograph and Bing West's and Will Swenson's. Easier time regarding Dakota Meyer as I have a brother in Louisville. I recommend this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    L

    A must read for anyone wants to better understand the Afghan War and the sacrifices our men are making everyday. Anyone that ever served will understand the frustration felt by Dakota Meyer and the brave men trying to do the right thing. God bless them. God damn the “Gut-less” wonders that enforce bureaucratic procedures that hamper success and cost unnecessary losses for our men because they refuse to put our troops safety first.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carole

    This book showed how the military some times cannot see the forest for the trees. They seem to be unable to think each situation is different and you can't use a rule book to run a war when the other guys aren't playing by the rules. So sad that lives were lost and no one took responsibility. Yet Dakota Meyer still loves the Marines. I hope this book is cathartic and he can get on with his life without his friends.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    A very compelling account of a tragic battle in Afghanistan. Definitely one to read to read for anyone wanting a look into the brutal war in Afghanistan. I think the book was very well written too. The book is well organized and makes for a good read, I finished it in just two days of reading off and on.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I really thought I would have enjoyed this book more, but was underwhelmed by the lack of emotion during such a terrifying encounter. The last third of the book when Meyer returned home from Afghanistan and what he experienced then was really well written and engaging. So very thankful for men like Meyer that serve this country.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    This is the first book on this subject matter I've read and regardless of the quality of writing it was insightful. Every time I picked it up to read I asked myself, " How do people do this?" They truly are amazing people. I saw Meyer on Jon Stewart or Colbert report and I'm glad I read it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Wright

    I recommend this book to everyone to read! I read it in a day stopping only when I HAD to. Dakota Meyer is a very brave young man and I am glad there are people like him fighting for us.

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