A former Marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor bowed out of his quest Tuesday to join the New York City Fire Department after a federal judge denied his request to extend the application deadline for all aspiring firefighters — not just him.
The judge had been willing to grant a 24-hour application extension for Sgt. Dakota Meyer, who saved the lives of 36 people during an ambush in Afghanistan two years ago. Meyer missed the FDNY’s application deadline because he was busy with official Medal of Honor commitments and ceremonies, said Keith Sullivan, his attorney.
But when the city offered to reopen the application process to the public, Brooklyn Judge Nicholas Garaufis refused, saying a brief extension would create a risk of “adverse impact” on minority groups who are under-represented in the ranks of the FDNY. Instead, the judge agreed to grant Meyer a one-day exception because he is “one exceptional individual.”
That didn’t seem fair to Meyer, who charged five times in a Humvee into heavy gunfire in the darkness of an Afghanistan valley to rescue comrades under attack from Taliban insurgents.
“Dakota refuses to compromise his values,” Sullivan said Tuesday. “He said he would like to thank the city of New York and the people who have shown him so much support, but he couldn’t in good conscience take a one-person exception. He will apply for the exam when it’s given again in four years.”
You would think that risking your own life to drag 36 of your fellow Marines to safety under heavy enemy fire, thereby earning the Medal of Honor, would be enough for some people, but nooooooo! Not Sgt. Meyer. Not that jarhead. What a show-off. Sheesh. This kind of principled selflessness could lead to young people thinking the Marines are pretty damned cool, right?
This Dakota Meyer fellow might even end up running for President, or something.
He’s dangerous, I tell you. Dangerous, and epically awesome.