President Barack Obama will bestow the military's highest award, the Medal of Honor, to a former Marine who saved 36 lives.

Dakota Meyer of Kentucky saved the lives of 13 Marines and Army soldiers, along with 23 Afghan soldiers, two years ago. The military says he did it while providing cover for the troops to fight their way out of a six-hour firefight with the Taliban. Meyer killed at least eight insurgents despite being wounded himself.

The White House says he's the third living recipient, and the first Marine, to get the medal for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. Meyer left the military after tours of duty in both countries.

Thursday evening, Obama will attend two Democratic National Committee events in Washington.