Jason Dunham: Wikis


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Jason Lee Dunham
November 10, 1981(1981-11-10) – April 22, 2004 (aged 22)
JasonDunham.jpg   A light blue neck ribbon with a gold star shaped medallion hanging from it. The ribbon is similar in shape to a bowtie with 13 white stars in the center of the ribbon.
Jason Dunham's official Recruit Training portrait
Nickname Uno
Place of birth Scio, New York
Place of death Bethesda, Maryland, died of wounds received in Iraq
Place of burial Scio, New York
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch USMC logo.svg United States Marine Corps
Years of service 2000-2004
Rank Corporal
Unit 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines
Battles/wars Iraq War
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
Combat Action Ribbon
Seargeant Mark Dean, one of Dunham's closest friends, and Major Trent Gibson, Dunham's company commander, inspect the remains of the helmet Dunham used to smother the grenade. The helmet was delivered for display at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in July 2009.

Jason Dunham (November 10, 1981 – April 22, 2004) was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps who served with 4th Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment (3/7), 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

While fighting with his unit in Karabilah, Iraq, an enemy soldier threw a grenade that landed next to him. Rather than allow the grenade to explode and kill or injure not only himself but several other Marines in the area he sacrificed himself and dove on top of the grenade. When it exploded Dunham was seriously injured and died eight days later.

On November 10, 2006, at the dedication of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, President George W. Bush announced that Dunham would be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on April 14, 2004 near Husaybah, Iraq. Dunham became the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq, and the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.


Early life

Jason Dunham was born November 10, 1981 in Scio, New York and lived his entire life in Scio, graduating from Scio High school in 2000. While attending Scio high school Dunham played basketball for his high school team.[1]

Military service

Dunham joined the Marine Corps in 2000 after graduating high school and after completing recruit training, he served as a Security Force sentry at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia.[1]

In early 2004, he was serving with 4th Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment (3/7), 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.[2] On April 14, 2004, Corporal Dunham was leading a Marine patrol near Husaybah, Iraq, investigating an attack on a Marine convoy. His patrol intercepted a number of cars spotted near the scene of the attack. An individual in one of the vehicles attacked Dunham. During the fighting, the individual dropped a live Mills bomb-type hand grenade. Dunham, to save the rest of his men, threw himself on the grenade, attempting to use his helmet to shield himself and others from the explosion.[1]

Corporal Dunham was severely wounded as a result of the grenade blast and was taken to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He died eight days later, on April 22, 2004.[3] Shortly beforehand, Marine Corps Commandant Michael Hagee presented Dunham with the Purple Heart. Dunham died on April 22, 2004 at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland where he was being treated for his injuries. General Hagee, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps John L. Estrada and Dunham's parents were at his bedside when he died.[4] He was buried in Fairlawn Cemetery, Scio New York.[5]

Honors and awards

In addition to the Medal of Honor and his other military decorations Dunham has also received other honors including being the namesake of a United States Navy destroyer, a post office and Marine Corps barracks.


Military decorations

Dunham's awards include:[1]

A light blue ribbon with five white five pointed stars
Medal of Honor
Purple Heart Combat Action Ribbon Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal Iraq Campaign Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

Medal of Honor

President George W. Bush presents the Medal of Honor to the family of Jason Dunham during a ceremony in the East Room Thursday, January 11, 2007.

Shortly after his death, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Lopez, commander of 3/7, along with others in Dunham's chain of command, began the process of nominating the corporal for the Medal of Honor, the United States' highest award for valor in combat. On November 10, 2006, at the dedication of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, President George W. Bush announced that Corporal Dunham would receive the Medal of Honor, making him the second recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first Marine Corps recipient for actions in Iraq.[6]

In 2004, Michael M. Phillips, staff writer for the Wall Street Journal, wrote an article summarizing Dunham's actions that appeared on page A1, column 1 of the May 25 Journal.[7] In 2005, Phillips published, through Broadway Books, The Gift of Valor: A War Story, which told Dunham's life story.[2]

President Bush presented Cpl. Dunham's family with the Medal of Honor in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, on January 11, 2007.[8][9]


"The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to


For service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his 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 seven Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an 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".[5]

A small memorial display of Dunham at his award ceremony

USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109)

On March 20, 2007, the Navy reported that a new Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer would be named the USS Jason Dunham, in his honor. In a formal ceremony in Scio on March 23, 2007, Navy Secretary Donald Winter officially announced the naming of the USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109).[10][11] The keel was laid at a ceremony on April 11, 2008, at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. The ship was christened on August 1, 2009, with Dunham's mother, Debra, acting as the ship's sponsor. Among family members and officials present at the christening, also in attendance were Dunham's Kilo Company commander, Major Trent Gibson, and Sgt. Bill Hampton and Cpl. Kelly Miller who were next to Dunham when the grenade detonated, and whose lives he saved when he threw himself on the grenade. A piece of Dunham's helmet will be encased in the mast.[12]

Security Forces barracks

On April 11, 2007, The Periscope, the base newspaper for Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, reported that the Marine Corps Security Force Barracks is to be renamed the Cpl. Jason Dunham Barracks in late June 2007. Dunham had served at the base from 2001-2003.[13]

Book dedication

In February 2008 Robert Ferrigno dedicated the second book in his Assassins trilogy, Sins of the Assassin, to SFC Paul Smith, Corporal Dunham, and Lt. Michael Murphy.[14]

Cpl Jason L Dunham Memorial Scholarship fund

The Corporal Jason L. Dunham Scholarship Foundation was established to provide monetary scholarships to Marines and Corpsmen, who wish to pursue a college education at a nationally recognized and accredited institution of higher education.

Cpl Dunham Room

The Cpl Dunham room is located at the Corporals Course at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.

Dunham's Defense

A crucible warrior's station at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina was named in his honor. When recruits arrive at this station they will read Cpl Dunham's Medal of Honor citation, and then perform ground-fighting techniques reflecting those Dunham used to defend himself and his fellow Marines leading to his nomination for the Medal of Honor.

Corporal Jason L. Dunham Post Office

A bill to rename the Scio post office, located at 4422 West Sciota Street in Scio, New York, as the Corporal Jason L. Dunham Post Office was submitted to the House of Representatives in December 2005 by Congressman John R. Kuhl. The bill was immediately passed in the House with support from all New York delegation members. With the support of both New York Senators Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton the bill passed the Senate. On March 14, 2006, President George W. Bush signed the bill, officially renaming the post office in Dunham's hometown to the Corporal Jason Dunham Post Office.[15] He also met with Dunham's family, who gave him a copy of The Gift of Valor.[16]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Corporal Jason L. Dunham, USMC (deceased)". Who's Who in Marine Corps History. Marine Corps History Division. http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Whos_Who/Dunham_JL.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  2. ^ a b Phillips, 2005.
  3. ^ Phillips, Michael M. (January 6, 2007). "How Do You Repay A Hero's Sacrifice; Three years ago, a fellow Marine gave his life to save Kelly Miller. It has been a hard road since.". The Wall Street Journal: p. A1. 
  4. ^ Garcia, 2004
  5. ^ a b Jason Dunham at Find a Grave Retrieved on 2007-12-25
  6. ^ Gidget Fuentes (November 10, 2006). "Medal of Honor is first for a Marine since Vietnam". Marine Corps Times. http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-2348595.php. Retrieved 2006-11-10. 
  7. ^ Phillips, Michael M. (May 25, 2004). ""In Combat, Marine Put Theory to Test, Comrades Believe Cpl. Dunham's Quick Action In Face of Grenade Saved 2 Lives"" (PDF). The Wall Street Journal. p. A1. http://www.jasonsmemorial.org/art_wsj.pdf. Retrieved 2008-03-07.  Republished on Jason Dunham Memorial Website.
  8. ^ Sally B. Donnelly (December 3, 2006). "Iraq: The War Without Honors". Time. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1565560-2,00.html. Retrieved 2006-12-04. 
  9. ^ John Hoellwarth (January 8, 2007). "Dunham family to get Medal of Honor Thursday". Marine Corps Times. http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-2469028.php. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  10. ^ Associated Press (March 21, 2007). "Destroyer to be named after N.Y. Marine". msnbc. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17709451/. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  11. ^ "Navy Names New Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Jason Dunham". Navy newsstand. United States Navy. March 23, 2007. http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=28497. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  12. ^ "Ship named for MoH recipient to be christened". Navy Times. July 29, 2009. http://www.navytimes.com/news/2009/07/marine_dunham_072909w/. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  13. ^ MC2(SW) Michael Wiss, Periscope Staff (April 11, 2007). "Marine Barracks to be renamed for Medal of Honor winner". kingsbayperiscope.com. http://www.kingsbayperiscope.com/stories/041207/kin_dunham.shtml. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  14. ^ Ferrigno, 2008
  15. ^ Kuhl, John R. (December 19, 2005). "Kuhl Bill to honor Dunham passes House: Kuhl bill names post office in Scio after fallen Marine Corporal Jason Dunham". U.S. Representative John R. "Randy" Kuhl, Jr. , New York's 29th District. http://kuhl.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=37917. Retrieved 2006-07-09. 
  16. ^ WHEC-TV News 10, March 16, 2006.

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