#VeteranOfTheDay Marine Corps Veteran Jason Dunham


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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Jason Dunham.

Cpl. Jason Dunham served during the Iraq War with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for deliberately falling on a grenade, using his own body as a shield to save him fellow Marines.

Jason was born on November 10, 1981 in Scio, New York, which was coincidentally the 206th anniversary of the founding of the Marine Corps. He joined the Marine Corps after graduating from Scio High School in 2000, and served as a security force sentry at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, until 2003. In 2004, he was deployed to Iraq and stationed in Al-Karabilah, where he served as squad leader.

On April 14, 2004, Jason and his anti-armor team were conducting a reconnaissance mission in Al Karabilah, investigating the scene where the battalion commander’s convoy was attacked. They were met with enemy fire, and Jason ordered his troops to dismount their vehicles and to instead travel on foot. He discovered seven Iraqi vehicles that were attempting to depart and stopped them for search. Suddenly, an insurgent leapt out of a vehicle containing AK-47s and attacked Jason. While the two were engaged in hand-to-hand combat, the insurgent dropped a live grenade. Jason valiantly jumped on the grenade, using his body and helmet to absorb the blast, shielding his comrades from fatal harm.

Jason saved the lives of three fellow marines, but ended up sacrificing his own in return. He was mortally wounded from the grenade explosion; he had suffered irreparable brain damage due to shrapnel piercing his skull, and died eight days later. His selfless actions went far beyond the call of duty, and he was awarded the Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart. He was the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in the Iraq War, and the first to receive it since the Vietnam War.

We honor Jason’s service.


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Author

Scott Liu

Comments

  1. Kay Kitterman    

    My heart and prayers go out to this brave hero and his family. I am honored as are all Americans for his ultimate service to our Country and its citizens!

  2. Linda Little    

    My heart goes out to his family and comrads.

  3. Erik    

    “A man hath no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.”
    Semper Fi, Marine.

  4. Janine Misener    

    Words cannot express the pride I have for all of our men and women in the military. I am lucky enough to be married to a wonderful Army Sgt. who has served for 27 years. Thank you all for your bravery and sacrifice. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  5. Greg O'Brien    

    Heroic young man. RIP.

    Side note – the lower most badge on the right side of the picture is a Combat Action Badge, an award for non Infantry/SF who see combat, and is specific only to the US Army, not the US Marines.

  6. Michael Lichtenstein    

    May Jason’s loved ones be at peace for his ultimate sacrifice for all of us.

  7. Larry Agold    

    My heart goes out to this young mans family. So proud of him and send my condolences to his family. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

  8. bob theurer    

    He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for deliberately falling on a grenade, using his own body as a shield to save him fellow Marines.

    “Him”??????

  9. Paul Edward DiMarco    

    Riposa in pace, guerriero caduto… = Rest in peace, fallen warrior…

  10. Anne Koskinen    

    The selfless actions of a true Marine are shown with the story of my brother Marine here.
    Semper Fi !

  11. Kathie Light    

    I’m amazed and proud of the unselfish dedicated service of our military personnel. There aren’t words to adequate enough to thank their love of country and willingness to sacrifice their lives. My heart brakes a little more every time a loss occurs and family loses a loved one.

    I’ve been asking candidates and those that make up our government 2 questions and not received a single reply so I’ll pose them here. Why aren’t our Vets being employed to provide resources on our borders and replacing TSA employees at airports? I for one would feel safer.

    My thanks and respect for our military never waivers. God bless.

  12. Bush Shane Thornton    

    “NO GREATER LOVE HATH A MAN THEN THAT HE WOULD LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR A FELLOW BROTHER.” I DIDN’T SAY THAT, JESUS DID, I ONLY WISH I HAD. HOWEVER, IF I MAY, I WOULD LIKE TO ADD, I BELIEVE CPL. JASON DUNHAM IS THE TYPE OF MARINE WHO WOULD AND NO DOUGHT DID LAY DOWN HIS LIFE EVEN FOR A STRANGER…
    **SEMPER FI — OORAH** AND “WELL DONE THOW GOOD AND FAITHFUL MARINE….”
    With Ute-Most Respect & Aw for yet another Hero who gave ALL !!!
    Forever Young—Forever A Marine…
    from: Bush Shane Thornton
    former, USAF Crash & Rescue Firefighter
    also one of “The First In & The Last Out…”

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