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Medal of Honor nomination

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
From a report in the Wall Street Journal (May25, 2004):

On April 14th 22 year old Cpl Jason Dunham (U.S.M.C.) was leading his 14 man squad on a foot patrol scouting sites for a new base when radio reports came in about another group of Marines which had been hit by a roadside bomb and ambush not far away. The company commander was in the other group, he and his translator had both been wounded by rifle fire. Cpl Dunham's group jumped into their Humvees and raced to the aid of their comrads.

When a rocket propelled grenade whizzed overhead they stopped their vehicles and split into two teams to hunt for the shooters. They came upon a line of seven Iraqi vehicles and began searching for weapons. An Iraqi in a black track suit leaped out of one of the vehicles as Cpl Dunham approached and grabbed the Cpl by the throat. Cpl Dunham kneed the man in the chest and the two tumbled to the ground. Two other marines responded and grabbed the man, the marines heard Cpl Dunham scream, "No, no, no - watch his hand!" In the Iraqi's hand was a heavy duty grenade (British made "Mills Bomb") None of the other marines saw what happened, but they believe the Iraqi had dropped the grenade, releasing the safety. Cpl Dunham threw his helment and his body on top of the grenade to protect his squadmates. The explosion caused minor wounds to other nearby marines. Cpl Dunham received numerous serious wounds causing massive blood loss and internal injuries.

A valiant effort was mounted by medical personnel on site, at the nearby field hospital, at military hospitals in Baghdad then Germany, and finally at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda Md. Marine Cpl Jason L. Dunham's family was with him when he died as a result of his wounds at 4:43 pm on April 22, 2004.

Cpl Dunham has been recommended for the Medal of Honor by his commander. Recommendations for this medal are rare. The most recent Medal of Honor's were given for action in Somalia when two Army Rangers gave their lives protecting a downed Black Hawk pilot (the famous "Black Hawk Down" incident.) Less than 500 such medals were given for action during the entire second world war. Most Medal of Honor's are given posthumously. Federal law makes it illegal to buy or sell a Medal of Honor, and no one except the recipient or his family may possess one. It is a Federal crime for anyone other than the recipient to wear a Medal of Honor. All military personnel must salute an individual wearing this medal, no mater what rank the wearer might be.

Cpl Dunham had recently extended his enlistment for the batallian's entire tour in Iraq. When asked why by his friend Cpl Mark Edward Dean, he responded, "I want to make sure everyone makes it home alive. I want to be sure you go home to your wife alive."
post #2 of 4
This young man definitely meets the criteria for the Medal of Honor. In addition, he merits the Navy Cross, the highest decoration awarded by the Marine Corps.

Semper fi, Cpl. Dunham, RIP.
post #3 of 4
Such a selfless act....

post #4 of 4
The Medal of Honor would be well-deserved.
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