“On a dusty road in western Iraq, Corporal Dunham gave his own life so that the men under his command might live,” President George W. Bush said. “This morning it’s my privilege to recognize Corporal Dunham’s devotion to the Corps and country.”
All Americans and many peoples around the world owe their freedom and liberty to the heroism and sacrifice of great men and women like Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham.
Cpl. Jason Dunham was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration. His parents, Deb and Dan Dunham, were given the medal at a White House ceremony.
Dunham was a 22-year-old machine gunner from Scio, N.Y. He was manning a checkpoint near Karabilah, near the Syrian border in Iraq, on April 14, 2004.
“While leading a patrol of his Marines in Karabilah, Corporal Dunham received a report that a Marine convoy had been ambushed. He led his squad to the site of the attack — where he and his men stopped a convoy of cars trying to make an escape,” according to the Corps press release.
“As he moved to search one of the vehicles, an insurgent jumped out and grabbed him by the throat. The corporal engaged the insurgent in hand-to-hand combat.”
The Army Times reported that Dunham then shouted to the other Marines, “No. No. No. Watch his hand.” He threw himself on the live grenade that was dropped by the insurgent during their struggle.
Dunham used his Kevlar helmet and body to smother the blast.
There truly aren’t words to express the emotions you feel when you read a story like this. I think this photo of President Bush at Thursday’s ceremony sums up both the pride and sadness that Cpl. Dunham’s story brings out of any patriotic American.
May God bless Cpl. Dunham’s family and may God Bless America for the great nation that we are.