During my 2004 tour in Iraq, the Marines fought hard in Fallujah and other areas in western Iraq. We worked with some of these Marines and, in fact, a Marine officer signed out an M79 grenade launcher to me for use on our convoy missions in Baghdad as we protected our general.
On April 14, 2004, Marine Corporal Jason L. Dunham of Scio, New York, was leading a patrol near the Syrian border when he became engaged in a confrontation with an insurgent. During the struggle, Dunham threw himself on an enemy grenade to protect his comrades. The resulting explosion resulted in wounds which were ultimately fatal.
Yesterday, President Bush awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor to Dunham’s parents in Washington, D.C. Corporal Dunham is an example of the professional young warriors that are fighting for their country in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere throughout the world. Americans are fortunate to have men like Dunham standing between them and those who would hurt them.
SFC Chuck Grist