Marine Corps’ 235th Birthday: Remembering Cpl. Jason Dunham

Marine Corps’ 235th Birthday: Remembering Cpl. Jason Dunham

A big Semper Fi and “Happy 235th Birthday” to the United States Marine Corps, America’s 911 Force and the “first to fight!” It’s been a fun 2 weeks of competition for Project Valour-IT’s Marine Team to raise funds for special laptops and other IT equipment for wounded warriors. The competition ends tomorrow, Veterans Day, but there’s still time to donate!

Marine of the Day
It’s well known that a Marine remains faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, to the Corps and to country, no matter what. Our Marine of the Day may be someone familiar to you. His great valor and ultimate sacrifice earned him the Medal of Honor – posthumously. Maybe you know his heroic story: Corporal Jason Dunham, only 22 years old, dived on a live grenade to shield his troops during an ambush near Husaybah, Iraq; dying from his wounds 8 days later. As then President George W. Bush said in the MOH ceremony:

“On a dusty road in western Iraq, Corporal Dunham gave his own life so that the men under his command might live.”

Corporal Jason Dunham

Here is the Medal of Honor citation presented to Jason Dunham’s parents during a ceremony at the White House on January 11, 2007:

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 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 several 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, 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.

Corporal Jason Dunham, who shares a birthday today with the USMC, and the men and women of the United States military – from every branch – have given their all to defend the values we Americans hold dear. There is only one more day left for the Project Valour-IT fundraiser so please give generously today.

So Semper Fi USMC! I raise my glass:

“Here’s health to you
and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we’ve fought for life
And never lost our nerve.
… If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.”


I was reminded that this weekend the USS JASON DUNHAM (DDG 109), the Navy’s most advanced Arleigh Burke Class, Aegis Guided Missile Destroyer will be commissioned in Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Awesomeness!

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