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Jason Dunham, Corporal, USMC, Medal of Honor

This isn't news, really. We knew it was coming. But now it has happened.

Corporal Jason Dunham, USMC, Medal of Honor

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2007 - President Bush today presented the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest decoration, to the family of Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, who died shielding his fellow Marines from a grenade blast in Iraq in April 2004.

"With this medal, we pay tribute to the courage and leadership of a man who represents the best of young Americans," Bush said before presenting the medal to Dunham's family at the White House.

Dunham, who grew up in Scio, N.Y., was the leader of a rifle squad with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, in Iraq. Dunham's squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in Karabilah on April 14, 2004, when a nearby convoy returning to base was ambushed. When Dunham's squad approached to assist the convoy, an Iraqi insurgent jumped out of a vehicle and grabbed Dunham by the throat. As Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground, he noticed that the enemy fighter had a grenade in his hand. Dunham ordered his Marines to move back, and when the enemy dropped the live grenade, Dunham took off his Kevlar helmet, covered the grenade with it, and threw himself on top to smother the blast.

Dunham initially survived his wounds, but died eight days later at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., with his mother and father at his bedside.

"By his selflessness, Corporal Dunham saved the lives of two of his men and showed the world what it means to be a Marine," Bush said.

Dunham is the second servicemember in the war on terror and the first Marine since the Vietnam War to receive the Medal of Honor. His mother, father, sister and two brothers were at the ceremony today, which was attended by Cabinet members, Defense Department and Marine Corps leaders, members of Congress, past Medal of Honor recipients, and members of Dunham's unit.

Bush spoke about Dunham's upbringing in upstate New York. Dunham was a star athlete who was popular and a natural leader. His father, a dairy farm worker, and his mother, a school teacher, were devoted parents. "He grew up with the riches far more important than money," Bush said.

Dunham joined the Marine Corps on July 31, 2000. It was in the Marines that he learned honor, courage, commitment and leadership qualities, Bush said. "As the leader of a rifle squad in Iraq, Corporal Dunham led by the values he had been taught," he said. "He was the guy everybody looked up to; he was a Marine's Marine who led by example."

Bush noted that Dunham's mother called the Marine Corps her son's second family. Now that family is embracing her and the rest of the Dunham family as they deal with their loss, Bush said.

Since World War II, more than half of those who have earned the Medal of Honor have lost their lives in the action that earned it, Bush said. "Corporal Jason Dunham belongs to this select group," he said. "On a dusty road in western Iraq, Corporal Dunham gave his own life so that the men under his command might live. This morning, it's my privilege to recognize Corporal Dunham's devotion to the Corps and the country and to present his family with the Medal of Honor."

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.

President George W. Bush presents the Congressional Medal of Honor to Dan and Deb Dunham for their son, U.S. Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, during a ceremony in his honor at the White House Jan. 11, 2007. Cpl. Dunham gave his own life in April 2004 by jumping on a grenade during an insurgent attack in western Iraq to save the lives of men under his command. DoD photo by Cherie A. Thurlby. (Released)

President George W. Bush presents the Congressional Medal of Honor to Dan and Deb Dunham for their son, U.S. Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, during a ceremony in his honor at the White House Jan. 11, 2007. Cpl. Dunham gave his own life in April 2004 by jumping on a grenade during an insurgent attack in western Iraq to save the lives of men under his command. DoD photo by Cherie A. Thurlby. (Released)

The citation has not yet been published, as far as I know. This URL is the placeholder at Marine Corps News.


In the words of Patton : “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” Semper Gratus, Cpl Dunham.
Anyone have the text of the citation yet? I dug out the poem pen last night and wrote this: To give up one’s life for the sake of another is an act many might find bizarre. But when death came around, Jason chose to smother - he covered a bomb with his kevlar. Evil was the insurgent who dropped the grenade, to kill off the Marines of Kilo. But one of them was anything except afraid - the one Marine hero from Scio. In his Marine heart true love did thrive, he revealed it at his life’s end. Ensuring the men went home alive, he gave up his life for his friends. So we give this true Marine brother, the Star-Spangled Necklace for Valor.
Matt, Excellent. As Barb said, "Semper Gratus, Cpl Dunham."
The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to CORPORAL JASON L. DUNHAM UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS For service as set forth in the following CITATION: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of this life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First Marine Division (Reinforced), on 14 April 2004. Corporal Dunham’s squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt approximately two kilometers to the west. Corporal Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander’s convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah. As Corporal Dunham and his Marines advanced, they quickly began to receive enemy fire. Corporal Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led one of his fire teams on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering sever Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham as his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, and insurgent leaped out and attacked Corporal Dunham. Corporal Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. Corporal Dunham immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat. Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Dunham gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
I've been waiting for someone else to ask this, so I wouldn't look like a complete moron. Too late for that, I guess! LOL And because I just don't have the time right now to look it up myself and thought one of you higher-up "professional officers" would know ...... ..... in a case like Dunham's, when a lower level decoration has already been awarded for the same act (DSC, SS, etc.) does he keep that award in addition to the MOH, or is the previous decoration "upgraded"? Thanks!
The new decoration supersedes the old, or interim (if awarded as an interim) award.
John, Thanks. I thought that was probably so from your other post on this, but wasn't sure.