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It has been a whirlwind week for a Kentucky Marine.
First, a beer with the President before receiving the Medal of Honor - the nation's highest military honor. But on Saturday, Dakota Meyer got a home town welcome.
Pride and joy spilled out in the streets of Greensburg Kentucky Saturday for the annual Cow Days Parade, as the grand marshal, Dakota Meyer, rolled down the street. The 23-year-old was awarded the medal of honor by President Obama, and inducted into the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes. "Many people call me a hero," said Meyer, as he spoke to a crowd, "the sound of that word makes me cringe. I'm no hero."
Meyer saved 36 lives in combat in Afghanistan. In the same fight, he repeatedly ignored orders to get out. Instead, he braved enemy fire time and time again to retrieve 4 bodies. "And these 4 men are the real heroes from that day, not me," he said.
"It's an amazing story, and quite honestly, by all rights he shouldn't be here with us today," said Governor Steve Beshear, somberly, "but I believe somebody up there, had a purpose for him."
Meyer is using his name for a bigger purpose: raising scholarship money for the children of marine parents."Working with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation I have committed to raising 1 million dollars by Memorial Day 2012," he told Greensburg.
After all the festivities, local fans got to meet Dakota and take pictures. WDRB had the opportunity to speak to Meyer, and asked what he and the President talked about. "I just asked him, what advice would he give a 23-year-old (...) in my shoes," said Meyer.
You would think there there would be nothing that could top meeting the President. But Meyer says nothing compares to coming home.
Meyer is using his name to raise scholarships for the children of marines. He's vowed to raise $1 million dollars by next Memorial Day.