Former US Marine sergeant Dakota Meyer, a recipient of America's highest award for valour, is suing British defence contractor BAE Systems, saying the company ridiculed his award and falsely claimed he was mentally unstable and suggested he had a drink problem. The claims, says Meyer, cost him a job.
Meyer has filed a lawsuit in San Antonio, Texas, claiming his former employer - BAE Systems OASYS Inc, prevented him from getting a job by telling his prospective employer that he was a poor worker during the three months he worked for the company in the spring of this year.
Even worse for BAE Systems, it turns out that Meyer left the company after protesting that it was selling advanced thermal-optic sniper scopes to Pakistan. The scopes were more powerful than those used by US troops and Meyer was appalled that they could be used against his former comrades in Afghanistan. "This is where I could see me still 'doing my part' for the guys who are in the same situation now that I was in 18 months ago," he explained in an email to his former supervisor. Meyer's lawsuit alleges that the supervisor "berated and belittled" him after he objected to the sale.
After Meyer resigned in May, he attempted to get his old job back, but the BAE supervisor then wrote to his previous manager, saying that he was mentally unstable, was not performing his duties and had problems with social drinking.
Mayer received his Medal of Honor from President Obama at the White House in September this year. The citation reads: "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the repeated risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a member of Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009". During a six-hour ambush at Ganjgal in Kunar, he saved 36 lives. Ignoring orders to the contrary, he repeatedly drove a Humvee into the ambush site to rescue his fellow Marines and Afghan soldiers. Together with fellow Marine, Staff Sgt. Juan J. Rodriguez-Chavez, he made five runs to pull out wounded Afghan troops, and then went back in, only to find that the remaining four Marines were dead. Rodriguez-Chavez was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions (along with Captain Ademola D Fabayo) that day. Mayer is only the third living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War and the first living US Marine to be so honoured.
The company intends to contest the case, although the chances of BAE Systems winning are negligible. Who was the idiot that sanctioned the action against Meyer? And who was the even bigger idiot trying to sell such advanced weaponry to Pakistan?