Dakota Meyer saved 36 lives from an ambush in Afghanistan and the ex-Marine will collect the nation's highest military honor at the White House.
While he's receiving the Medal of Honor on Thursday, Meyer's slain comrades will be memorialized in hometown ceremonies at his request.
His hero's moment was his darkest day. Meyer lost some of his best friends on Sept. 8, 2009, in Kunar Province.
According to the military, he charged through heavy insurgent gunfire on five death-defying trips in an armored Humvee to save 13 Marines and Army soldiers and another 23 Afghan troops pinned down by enemy fire.
President Barack Obama will bestow the medal. The two have also met privately, having a beer on a patio outside the Oval Office on Wednesday.