Marine Who Received Medal of Honor Fights Allegations He is Mentally UnstableABC News
November 29, 2011
In September, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's most prestigious military award, to Sergeant Dakota Meyer, the marine who saved 36 of his comrades during an ambush in Afghanistan.
Obama called Meyer one of the most "down-to-earth guys that you will ever meet."
But today Meyer, 23, is having trouble getting a job because of allegations by defense contractor BAE Systems that he has a drinking problem and is mentally unstable. Meyer filed legal papers Monday claiming the allegations were in retaliation for objections he raised about BAE's alleged decision to sell high-tech sniper scopes to the Pakistani military.
After leaving active duty in May 2010, Meyer worked at Ausgar Technologies, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business in California, until April 2011.
"He exhibited a maturity for his age and an insightful capability to get the job done and provide recommendations to improve on what we are doing. I was very impressed while he was working for us. He was an outstanding employee," Tom Grant, a retired military naval officer and a senior program manager at Ausgar Technologies, told ABC News.
When asked about the allegations of mental instability and a drinking problem, Grant said, "While Meyer was working for me, I never saw evidence of either of those issues."
In March 2011, Meyer began working at BAE Systems, a British military contracting company, where he learned the company was trying to sell advanced thermal optic scopes to the Pakistani military.
"We are taking the best gear, the best technology on the market to date and giving it to guys known to stab us in the back," Meyer wrote to BAE Systems manager Bobby McCreight, his former co-worker, according to the lawsuit. "These are the same people killing our guys."
But BAE Systems is claiming that that decision is not up to them.
"The U.S. Department of State, not BAE Systems, makes the decision on what defense-related products can be exported. In recent years, the U.S. Government has approved the export of defense-related goods from numerous defense companies to Pakistan as part of the United States' bilateral relationship with that country," said Brian J. Roehrkasse, the vice president of public relations at BAE, in a statement.
In May 2011, Meyer gave his two weeks notice to BAE Systems and applied to return to Ausgar Technologies. He was approved by the U.S. government for the job, but the Ausgar hiring manager informed Meyer that he would not be hired because of allegations made by former marine McCreight.
Meyer is now suing McCreight for telling "the government program manager that Mr. Meyer should not be hired for reasons that are false and defamatory," according to Meyer's original petition.
According to Roehrkasse, BAE Systems strongly disagrees with Meyer's claims and intends to "vigorously defend [themselves] through the appropriate legal process."