Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer engaged to Bristol Palin

Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer engaged to Bristol Palin

by Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News (Tribune News Service)
Stripes Japan

Dakota Meyer, the Marine Corps' first living Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam War, announced Saturday that he was engaged to Bristol Palin.

"I always heard people say 'when you meet the right one, you'll know,'" Meyer wrote on his Facebook page under the headline "Engaged!" "I never understood that until now."

Famous for drinking a beer with President Obama, he posted a Facebook notice early Saturday about the engagement with Palin, daughter of former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, writing, "I'm definitely the luckiest guy ever to be able to spend the rest of my life with @bsmp2 ?#?shesaidyes?."

Meyer, who hails from Columbia, Kentucky, was in Las Vegas as the weekend began and could not be reached. His father, who is with him, said he was racing.

Bristol Palin wrote that the two met filming on set of Amazing America and have flown back and forth from Alaska to Kentucky to see each other since. She said Meyer proposed Friday at a Rascal Flatts concert following the band dedicating a song to the couple.

“It’s amazing to see what happens when you place everything in life in God’s hands,” wrote Palin. “He really is good and His plans are so much greater than our own.”

Meyer has been active on social media since announcing in 2013 his intentions to run for Congress in 2016. Many of his posts of late relate to veteran’s issues, gun rights and radical Islam.

A veteran of Iraq, Meyer was part of a team of Afghan and U.S. troops that entered the Ganjgal Valley at dawn Sept. 8, 2009 to gather with village elders for what appeared to be a routine meeting.

It was, instead, a trap.

More than 50 insurgents dug into the high ground attacked with rockets, mortars and machine guns. Meyer was sent to a rally point outside town and ordered not to go into the village once the fighting began, but became alarmed as he heard radio messages between soldiers and fellow Marines.

An hour or so later, he decided to disregard his orders and join the fight. Before the battle was over, Meyer was credited with killing eight Taliban, evacuating 12 wounded comrades and providing cover so 24 other Marines could escape.

Obama presented him with the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony.

Meyer also once worked for BAE Systems OASYS LLC in Bexar County, but later quit and sued the company accusing a supervisor of defamation. Meyer said in his suit that he clashed with his boss after learning that the firm was trying to sell a sophisticated thermal optic scope to Pakistan, a country known to support the Taliban.

After learning of the possible deal, Meyer, a Marine sniper, quit. In the suit filed after his exit from the company he said that he "made his objections known respectfully but directly," and argued in an email that the company was "taking the best technology on the market to date and giving it to guys that are known to stab us in the back."

His grandfather, Dwight Meyer, 84, said Meyer popped the question Friday night. He didn't know details of how it happened.

"He asked her to marry him last night," he said. "I think it's fine. I'm happy. He'd been going with her and he just asked her, wanted Bristol for his wife so he asked her last night and she accepted."

Dozens of Facebook friends liked the announcement and weighed in with their good wishes.

"So rad," one man wrote.

"Coming back from Afghanistan there were days I thought I may never be happy again, and I know there's a lot of you out there who know that feeling. We only have one life to live and we have to do our best to live it the right way, and Bristol makes me a better man," Dakota Meyer wrote in a Facebook post.

"I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with her and Tripp. For the first time in a long time I can honestly say the best is yet to come! Thanks to everyone for your words of kindness and support. It means a ton to us."

Stars and Stripes reporter James Kimber in Tokyo contributed to this report.

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