President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to a U.S. Marine in a White House ceremony Thursday for saving the lives of three dozen of his comrades.
Dakota Meyer, 23, received the nation's highest award for his actions during a battle in the Kunar Province of Aghanistan.
He is the third living recipient, and the first Marine, to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.
On the morning of Sept. 8, 2009, Meyer charged through insurgent gunfire on five death-defying trips to retrieve wounded comrades.
Meyer personally killed at least eight insurgents, despite taking a shrapnel wound to one arm as he manned the gun turret of the Humvee and provided covering fire for the soldiers, according to the military.
However, it was also his darkest day as some of his best friends were killed in the firefight.
"It's hard, it's. you know. getting recognized for the worst day of your life. So it's. it's a really tough thing," Meyer earlier told a reporter.
Meyer had requested his slain comrades be honored in hometown ceremonies at the same time he is awarded the Medal of Honor.
The president had earlier met with Dakota Meyer on the patio outside of the Oval Office on Wednesday.