Three Bowling Green musicians recently wrote a song for the youngest Medal Of Honor recipient, Dakota Meyer. He grew up in Columbia, KY and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2006. A school trained sniper and highly skilled Marine infantryman, Sgt. Meyer deployed twice to combat duty. In 2007, he deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom, and during 2009-10, he deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom In September 2011, he was awarded the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government, The Medal Of Honor. He is the third living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War, and the first living United States Marine in 38 years to be so honored.

Easton Bryant grew up in Columbia with Dakota. Here he explains how the song came about.

"My father is one of those guys who is constantly brainstorming and always has ideas he's not scared to share - some good, some better left alone. As soon as he heard we were playing at a private celebration in Columbia for Dakota, he pitched the idea that we should write a song for him, and I immediately disregarded the idea.

In the weeks to come, I learned more and more details of what Dakota had actually done to receive this unbelievable honor and I was really taken away by seeing the reactions of others from across the country and even worldwide. I'm from Dakota's hometown, and seeing a fellow Columbian impact the globe in such a positive way is sure to bring forth strong emotions, especially when that hometown's population is 3800. The reality of what he had been willing to sacrifice and the pain endured started to weigh on my mind consistently and this led to me coming up with one-liner lyrics from time to time when I was driving alone. Maybe this was one of Dad's good ideas after all.

The thought of trying to write a patriotic song is both intimidating and, honestly, a bit repulsive. I say this because I'm simply not a fan of most patriotic songs released in the past 10 years or so that are often played on Top 40 radio. Of course, I love their embracement of American pride, but the actual songs just never appealed to me. However, Dakota's selflessness still weighed heavily on my mind.

As the concepts and lyrics kept coming in, I quit thinking about just doing a patriotic song and started approaching it as a song about a 19 year-old man willing to actually die doing what he believed to be right for his country. It sounds like a simple concept on the surface, but it's really tough to comprehend when you take time to meditate on that. I started passing along my ideas to two of my best friends, and eventual co-writers on the track, Kyle Beard and John Capps. They would come back with ideas and this went on for several weeks sporadically. After filtering through a ton of ideas and lines, we finally had enough material we liked to build a song.

Through my ears, the focus of the song isn't about America being the greatest country on Earth. Although that is very true, the song is about the pain that Dakota endured on the worst day of his life. He lost dear friends that day and had accepted the fact that he was going to die trying to get to them. America is only the greatest because of sacrifice. This is too often overlooked.

Dakota being acceptive of the song is an enormous honor for us. Even if it's just a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things, we'd be very humbled to see each copy sold to benefit the Dakota Meyer Challenge."  Easton Bryant


Easton Bryant and Kyle Beard are members of the Bowling Green band Salvage Town and they  recorded Heartaches, Freedom & Sacrifice along with John Capps at Studio DD in Glasgow. All of the proceeds benefit the Dakota Meyer Challenge To America.

Here is a video of the song and it will be available soon for purchase.