Friday, January 19, 2007
Why are these Marines clapping?
The seated family is the parents and siblings of Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham. Cpl. Dunham saved two of his fellow Marines from death by diving on a grenade in Husbayah, Iraq, in April of 2004. They seem a bit uneasy to me. They hear the applause and stay seated, though the man being honored is not there, and lives only in memory. Cpl. Dunham was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.
Here is the citation for Cpl. Dunham:
CITATION: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, ThirdBattalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First MarineDivision (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.
(In the book about Cpl. Dunham, Gift of Valor,he and a couple of his fellow Marines talked about the best way to cover up a grenade. Read the book.)
(This photo comes from Fredericksburg.com news.)
Posted by Kerry at 7:18 PM