Remembrance Medal of Honor


Corporal - USMC
MI.Net Member
Feb 22, 2006
The following story is in the current issue of Leatherneck magazine. The author is SSgt. Scott Dunn
Semper Fidelis


A corporal who died shielding fellow Marines from an exploding grenade deserve's America's highest military decoration, President George W. Bush has confirmed.
Actions by Corporal Jason L. Dunham, who would have turned 25 on November 10, merit the Medal of Honor, said President Bush during the dedication ceremony for the National Museum of the Marine Corps near Quantico, Va., which coincided with the 231st Marine Corps anniversary.
"And on this special Birthday, in the company of his fellow Marines, I'm proud to announce that our nation will recognize Corporal Jason Dunham's action with America's highest decoration for valor," said a visibly emotional President to approximately 15,000 who were in attendance for the opening of the museum.
The announcement prompted a booming "Oorah"-- a spirited cry among Marines-- from the back of the crowd, and a long applause followed.
On April 14, 2004, in Iraq near the Syrian border, Cpl. Dunham used his helmet and his body to smother an exploding British-made Mills Bomb released by an insurgent whom Dunham and two other Marines tried to subdue. The explosion dazed and wounded Lance Corporal William Hampton and Private First Class Kelly Miller. The insurgent stood up after the blast and was immediately gunned down and killed by Marine small-arms fire.
"By giving his own life, Corporal Dunham saved the lives of two of his men and showed the world what it means to be a Marine," said President Bush.
Dunham initially survived the blast and lay unconcious face-down with a shard the size of a button lodged in his head. The hard, molded mesh that was his Kevlar helmet was scattered and shredded fabric. Dunham never regained conciousness and died eight days later at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Cpl Dubham's father and mother, Dan and Debra Dunham of Scio, N.Y., were at his bedside.
Dunham's commanding officers from 3rd Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment investigated his actions and nominated him for the Medal of Honor. Two years and seven months after making its way to the White House, the nomination now has the necessary approval from the President, who will present the medal and citation on a date to be determined.
Hoping the President would make the Medal of Honor announcement on their son's birthday, Mr. and Mrs. Dunham drove to Quantico from their home in Scio, N.Y. where their son is buried.
The President acknowledged the Dunhams, who received seats of honor in the front row. The parents held each other close as the audience gave a resounding applause.
"The public now knows what Jason did," said Mrs. Dunham. "We still have a loss, but the gift that Jason gave helps us go on."
"The good part is that we get to make new memories and bring new people into the family; the bad news is there will be no new memories with Jason."
She went on to say: "We took the applause as a thank-you for us, but it was for Jason. At that point, Dan and I were missing Jason a lot."
Addressing Dunham's parents, President Bush said, "We remember that the Marine who so freely gave his life was your beloved son. We ask a loving God to comfort you for a loss that can never be replaced."
"As long as we have Marines like Corporal Dunham, America will never fear for her liberty."
Before Dunham, the last Marine in combat action to earn the Medal of Honor was LCpl. Miguel Keith on May 8, 1970, in Vietnam. According to Marine Corps History Division records, LCpl. Keith inspired a platoon facing nearly overwhelming odds. Wounded twice, Keith ran into "fire-swept terrain." He nonetheless attacked, taking out the enemy in his forward rush. Keith fought until he fell mortally wounded; his platoon came out on top despite being heavily outnumbered.
The awarding of the last Medal of Honor to a living Marine was to Major General James L. Day, who distinguished himself as a corporal in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. His award was presented on January 20, 1998, more than half a century later. Major General Day passed away later that year.
Since the war against terrorism began, President Bush has previously presented one Medal of Honor. On April 4, 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Army Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith earnrd the medal for organizing a defense that held off a company-size attack. In the defense, Smith manned a .50-caliber machine gun in an exposed position until he was mortally wounded. President Bush presented the medal to SFC Smith's family on April 4, 2005.

Addendum to the above, by Col. Walt Ford USMC(Ret) Leatherneck Editor

The story of Corporal Jason Dunham's life and his heroic service to Corps and country is told in the 2005 book, "The Gift of Valor," by Michael M. Phillips. Phillips, a Wall Street Journal reporter embedded with Dunham's unit, 3rd Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, on four deployments to Iraq, documents in great detail the young life and death of Dunham, who was born and grew to manhood in the small village of Scio, N.Y.
An excellent athlete and mature Marine leader, "The twenty-two-year old Dunham was, in the eyes of his fellow Marines in 'Kilo' Company's Fourth platoon, the poster child for the Corps," writes Phillips. Dunham found a home in the Marine Corps and, as told in "The Gift of Valor," was the leader of the platoon's second squad on a patrol to relieve embattled Marines in the town of Husaybah when he stopped an Iraqi vehicle and became involved in hand-to-hand combat with an Iraqi who managed to pull the pin of a grenade. Knowing his fellow Marines were trying to assist him, Dunham shouted, "No, no, no--watch his hand !" Dunham then pulled his helmet onto the grenade and absorbed the major part of the blast.
Phillips is a master wordsmith and describes not only Dunham's early life but also the minute-to-minute action that culminated in the corporal's efforts to save the lives of his Marines. Phillips recounts the immediate efforts to move the badly wounded Dunham to a secure area; the detailed medical treatment provided through a succession of military treatment facilities in Baghdad, Landstuhl (Germany), and the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda; and the final minutes of his young life as his parents made the most difficult decision of their lives---to take their brain-dead son off of life support and watch him slip away on April 22, 2004.
Phillips concludes his book by describing how the Kilo Company Marines sealed remnants of Corporal Dunham's helmet in large plastic bags and placed them in a metal storage locker at the company headquarters in Al-Qa'im, Iraq. When Lieutenant Colonel Matthew A. Lopez heard of how Cpl Dunham gave his life, he directed the company commander, Captain Trent Gibson, to investigate so that, if confirmed, a nomination for the Medal of Honor could be submitted.
Cpl Dunham's parents will be there to accept the award for him. Phillips has skillfully captured and recorded this tale of heroic sacrifice, As noted author Bing West wrote in the final sentence of his book, "No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah": "Stories of their bravery deserved to be recorded and read by the next generation. Unsung, the noblest deed will die."
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A brave and selfless act sal;
The World has lost one of its finest sons med;
A very tastefull and moving tribute.
Thanks for posting Fox (Y)
Thanks for this latest update on this brave Marine, Fox. It's good that his sacrifice has continued to be recognized.
Thanks for this latest update on this brave Marine, Fox. It's good that his sacrifice has continued to be recognized.

2X here, great post of a very fine Marine. May he rest in peace.

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