View Full Version : Marine Is Awarded Medal Of Honor

11-13-2006, 19:03
Wall Street Journal
November 11, 2006
Pg. 4

Selfless Courage: Marine Is Awarded Medal Of Honor

Cpl. Dunham Loses Life Saving His Comrades; 'I'm Always Reminded of It'

By Michael M. Phillips

QUANTICO, Va. -- Cpl. Jason Dunham, a charismatic kid from small-town America, received the Medal of Honor for sacrificing himself to protect his fellow Marines from an Iraqi hand grenade.

President George W. Bush announced the award -- the country's highest honor for military valor -- at the opening of the Marine Corps museum here yesterday. It would have been Cpl. Dunham's 25th birthday.

"As far back as boot camp, his superiors spotted the quality that would mark this young American as an outstanding Marine: His willingness to put the needs of others before his own," Mr. Bush said. "As long as we have Marines like Cpl. Dunham, America will never fear for its liberty."

On patrol on April 14, 2004, Cpl. Dunham found himself engaged in hand-to-hand combat with an insurgent near the Syrian border. When his attacker dropped a live hand grenade, the Marine made the split-second decision to cover the weapon with his own helmet, shielding two of his men from its full explosive force.

The other Marines staggered away from the blast, injured but alive. Cpl. Dunham suffered deep shrapnel wounds to the brain. He survived eight days in a coma, only to die with his parents at his bedside. He was 22 years old.

"There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about it," said Cpl. William Hampton, one of the Marines fighting beside Cpl. Dunham when the grenade exploded. The explosion left Cpl. Hampton, a 24-year-old from Woodinville, Wash., peppered with shrapnel. "I see my arms, I see my leg. I'm always reminded of it."

Cpl. Dunham grew up in Scio, a one-stoplight town in western New York. His father, Dan Dunham, works in a nearby factory; his mother, Deb Dunham, teaches home economics. Jason was the oldest of four children and a star athlete, with a winning grin and a natural kindness.

He was an eager volunteer when the Marine recruiter spotted him at the local Kmart before his senior year in high school. Soon his lead-from-the-front approach won him the admiration of those above and below him, and he was given command of a 10-man infantry squad when his unit -- Kilo Co., Third Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment -- deployed in early 2004 to the hostile desert towns of Husaybah, al Qa'im and Karabilah.

Due to complete his enlistment that July, Cpl. Dunham extended his service by several months to remain in Iraq through the battalion's entire combat tour because, as he told a friend at the time, "I want to make sure everyone makes it home alive."

In the days after he was injured, Cpl. Dunham passed through a series of military hospitals and underwent brain surgery. He never, however, awoke from his coma. His parents met him at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., expecting to spend months nursing their son back to health. Instead, doctors told them that the damage was too severe and that the corporal would never again understand the world around him. Following the instructions Cpl. Dunham left in his living will, the Dunhams authorized the doctors to remove him from life support.

"In the end, Cpl. Dunham, you proved that one man can make a difference," his former company commander, Maj. Trent Gibson, said in June at a ceremony renaming Scio's post office after the fallen Marine. "You proved to be utterly selfless, uniquely compassionate, and absolutely committed to your men...You were that which we all strived to be. And you were somehow more pure."

A photo of the shredded remains of the corporal's helmet was among the pieces of evidence the battalion included when it nominated the corporal for the Medal of Honor shortly after he died.

Cpl. Dunham's life and death were chronicled in a page-one story in The Wall Street Journal on May 25, 2004.

The award is often called the Congressional Medal of Honor because Congress authorized it during the Civil War. Including Cpl. Dunham's, 3,462 medals have been awarded, according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Cpl. Dunham's is the second awarded for gallantry in the Iraq war. The first went to Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, who was killed while manning a machine gun against scores of Iraqi soldiers at Baghdad's airport in April 2003.

The president is expected to present the medal itself to Cpl. Dunham's parents at a White House ceremony at a later date.

Roguish Lawyer
11-13-2006, 19:13
Semper Fi and RIP.

Did Chontosh ever get it or was he limited to a Navy Cross?

Goggles Pizano
11-13-2006, 19:15
God bless him and men like him. Rest in peace young man.

11-13-2006, 19:23
Did Chontosh ever get it or was he limited to a Navy Cross?

The Navy Cross.

RIP Cpl Dunham...you will not be forgotten. Semper Fidelis.

11-13-2006, 19:47
RIP, Warrior.

11-13-2006, 19:53
RIP my brother.

Semper Fi.

You are a true hero and leader of Marines.

x SF med
11-13-2006, 20:18
RIP Warrior - HooRah!

11-13-2006, 21:17
No greater love. RIP Marine.

11-13-2006, 21:19

11-13-2006, 21:46
Rest in Peace, Marine.

Simple Simon
11-13-2006, 23:29
Selfless service at it's best. RIP Marine.

11-14-2006, 07:53
A real HERO!


11-14-2006, 09:48
RIP, Warrior.

11-14-2006, 12:06
Rest in peace Marine.

I am going to read this at our Marine Corps League meeting tonight.

Semper Fi

11-14-2006, 15:06
Rest in Peace Marine, Semper Fidelis

11-18-2006, 17:49
Now there's a real hero!!! Rest in Peace!!

11-26-2006, 23:01
The world becomes a little worse off when we loose good people.

Rest in Peace,

Semper Fi


11-28-2006, 20:23
Semper Fi and RIP my brother.

11-28-2006, 21:10
God Bless. RIP Marine.

03-24-2007, 00:30
An update about Medal of Honor awardee, the late Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham of Scio, a small town in western New York state................

Secretary of the Navy, Donald Winters, announced at a public ceremony held in Scio today that a guided missile destroyer is going to be named in honor of Cpl Dunham. His mother is going to christen the ship in 2010.

This young man continues to inspire and represent all of our young men and women in the military.

Details as reported on WGRZ:

Posted by: Maria Sisti, Assignment Editor
Created: 3/20/2007 2:53:10 PM
Updated: 3/23/2007 5:58:19 PM

Family, friends and students packed an upstate
high school gym this afternoon to hear the official word about the naming of a Navy warship after a local hero.

(Click here to see a Photo Gallery from our Sister Newspaper, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle) http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=A2&Dato=20070323&Kategori=MULTIMEDIA03&Lopenr=323002&Ref=PH&Profile=1007

Secretary of the Navy Donald Winters announced during his visit to tiny Scio in Allegany County that the newest guided missile destroyer will be named the U-S-S Jason Dunham.

Dunham's parents and siblings were at today's ceremony. His mother was asked to christen the ship when it's commissioned in 2010.

"Thousands of young men and women will step foot on that ship and they'll know who Jason Dunham is And their family will know who he is. It's a big honor for community, and a big honor for the Dunham family. What a wonderful family they are. And they'll be the first to tell you that every kid over in Iraq, every kid in the military, is a hero," said Scio Supervisor Dan Fleming.

Dunham graduated from High School in Scio, 65 miles southeast of Buffalo. He died in 2004 a week after throwing himself on a grenade that an Iraqi insurgent had tossed toward his group of Marines.

Military officials say Dunham's actions saved the lives of two other men in his unit.

Earlier this year, his heroic deed was recognized by President Bush, who presented Jason's parents with the Congressional Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony.

"He wanted to make sure that everyone makes it home alive. Corporal Dunham took that promise seriously. And would give his own life to make it good," said President Bush.

Senator Charles Schumer called the destroyer naming "another fitting tribute to his life and humbling heroism."


03-24-2007, 16:10
May the vessel sail for many years to come.

RIP brother, your watch is over.

09-05-2007, 17:29
Jason was a great Marine! He lived two doors down from me in the barracks when he was in 3/4, and he was a great guy and a great NCO. I spent many long 29 palms desert weekends hanging out with him. He is a great man and greatly missed. Thank you PS for honoring him here.

RIP Jason, you will never be forgotten.


09-05-2007, 18:20
Rest in Peace Brother.

09-05-2007, 18:23
Rest In Peace Cpl Dunham. Thank You for your Service & Sacrifice. Chesty was there to meet you I am sure.
Semper Fi

10-12-2007, 08:36
God Bless you CPL.

Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

Pete S
10-12-2007, 12:47
Rest in peace brother,
You will be sorely missed.

10-22-2007, 05:14
Rest in Peace Marine.