A new front line for Medal of Honor winner
Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer
Upon returning from active duty in the U.S. military, war hero Dakota Meyer purchased a Bobcat compact track loader
Dakota Meyer is taking on new challenges as a construction company owner, while still helping America’s veterans find employment opportunities.
Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer risked his life serving his country on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, the U.S. Marine Corps veteran is the owner of a Kentucky-based construction company and a Bobcat® T650 compact track loader.
In September 2011, Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama for his heroic efforts to save 13 American and 23 Afghan soldiers’ lives in a 2009 firefight. The 21-year-old Marine was credited with helping save the American and Afghan soldiers after Taliban fighters ambushed his unit near the village of Ganjgal, Afghanistan. Meyer is the first living Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.
New career in constructionUpon returning to the United States from active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, Meyer began working for a cousin who owned a construction company. It was his first opportunity to operate Bobcat compact equipment. It made a positive impression on him, so when he decided to start his own construction company, called DTM Construction, he rented a T650 from the local Bobcat dealer, Bobcat Enterprises. Through a rental purchase option, he had an opportunity to test drive the machine on various commercial jobsites, and eventually decided to purchase the loader.
“The Bobcat loader is very user-friendly because of the joystick controls, excellent visibility and the enclosed cab with air conditioning and radio,” he says. “The enclosed cab keeps dust and dirt off my operators, keeps them clean, and they can operate the Bobcat loader for a long time.”
Meyer’s construction company performs commercial and utility projects, often using a combination of heavy equipment and Bobcat compact equipment.
“The Bobcat loader is more versatile than other pieces of equipment, and it can go in more places,” he explains. “It’s good for working in tight areas. We have several attachments, including the bucket, industrial grapple and soil conditioner, which we use with the Bobcat loader. The soil conditioner is particularly useful for cleaning up jobsites and making them look good again.”
As far as being the owner of a construction company, Meyer says he likes the challenges.
“I enjoy being able to put people to work and being able to provide a place where they enjoy coming to work,” he says. “I take care of my employees. That’s what we do in the Marine Corps, we take care of each other, and that’s what I do in my company.”
Meyer credits his Bobcat loader purchase, in part, to the staff at Bobcat Enterprises.
“They sold me on getting the Bobcat loader, to be honest,” he says. “The quality of people and what they did for helping me, taking care of me and answering my questions … they were very nice.”
Volunteering for veteransWhen he’s not overseeing his company, Meyer is often on the road, helping U.S. veterans get jobs. He’s part of a U.S. Chamber of Commerce campaign called Hiring Our Heroes, which promotes the hiring of veterans and veteran spouses. He’s teamed up with several large companies to get the word to employers to give veterans a chance. “We’re trying to link employers with veterans and show employers why they need them,” Meyer says.
Meyer and Letterman
Dakota Meyer appeared on
"The Late Show with David Letterman."
Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer jokes with David Letterman on The Late Show. Meyer said he was “greasing the Bobcat (loader)” when he received a phone call from a staff member for President Barack Obama. Meyer requested to share a beer with the president and was invited to the White House for a cold one and conversation.
Read the Memoir
Read more about Meyer and his heroic efforts in a memoir titled, Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War.
Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War.