Friday, the family of Marine Cpl. Jason L. Dunham took part in the "keel-laying ceremony" which begins the construction of a Navy ship that's being built and will be named after their son. Jason Dunham of Scio, NY, was 22 when he died in Iraq in 2004.
Maine - Marine Cpl. Jason L. Dunham died as the result of trying to save his fellow Marines' lives, by throwing his helmet over a grenade. He sustained injuries on that fateful April 14, 2004. Two years later, President Bush awarded Marine Cpl. Jason L. Dunham the Medal of Honor.
That medal was "the first Medal of Honor — the nation’s highest award for
battlefield heroism — bestowed on a Marine in the Iraq war and the first earned
for combat action since 1970, during the Vietnam War."
Dunham was assigned to of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, at Twentynine Palms, California. The 22-year old machine gunner was manning a checkpoint near Karabilah, which is near the Syrian border. He was attacked by an Iraqi man by the throat, and after they scuffled, the Iraqi dropped a live grenade. Dunham quickly jumped on it, using his Kevlar helmet and body to smother the blast.
Shrapnel pierced his skull, and he died eight days later with his parents at his
side at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.Since...his family has a website that is in his honor, which
to say the least is very moving.
Now, four years later, a Navy ship is being built and will carry his name. Jason's father says it means a lot to the family to know the ship will be sailing the oceans for decades, carrying on Jason's memory.
Rest well, Marine Cpl. Jason L. Dunham. Rest well.