We saluted former Marine Sergeant Dakota Meyer for his heroism in Afghanistan, boldly charging into a kill zone not once but five times to rescue his threatened and fallen friends and allies. You might have thought you’d learned all you needed to know about the man right there and then.
But you’d be mistaken:
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.”
So, the city of New York loses out on a chance to add a hero to its ranks. But the risk to diversity, thank God, has been averted.
(On which topic, a graph from Mark Steyn’s book “After America” bears paraphrasing: “Diversity” is morally neutral. A group of five upper middle class liberal white women who listen to NPR is not diverse. The same five women joined by Sudan’s leading clitorectodomist is more diverse, but the group is not the better for it.)