Not many teenagers wake up and remember the men out fighting for their freedoms. Corporal Jason L. Dunham belonged as one of those men. He was born on November 10th, 1981 in Scio, New York. This date has a heavier weight than merely the birth of one boy, but the birth of the United States Marine Corps. From the day he was born, Jason was destined to join the Corps and become a Marine. Jason did his duty by sacrificing himself for others. Corporal Jason Dunham was born to be a marine-he lived, breathed, and died not only a Marine, but a hero.
As a Marine, it was Jason's duty to serve and protect others. On April 12th, 2004, he sacrificed his life in order to protect 2 fellow Marines. Corporal Dunham had been a leader in patrolling a check point in Karabilah, Iraq. Jason followed towards an engagement of rocket propelled grenades to provide fire support, when and insurgent (later found out to be a suicide bomber) jumped out in front of him and began chocking Jason. A scuffle began between Jason and the insurgent as two Marines approached to help. Dunham knew he had a choice to make when he saw the grenade in the enemies grasp. Its reported that Jason's last words were a warning to the others, "No, no. Watch his hand!" he yelled. Suddenly, the insurgent dropped the grenade. Dunham took his Kevlar helmet off, dropped to the ground, and covered the explosive with his body as best he could. Jason Dunham died 8 days later in the hospital, the lived of two other Marines survived, though seriously injured.
Although Jason did not survive, his heroism lived on to inspire other Marines. He did the most honorable thing a Marine could do; Dunham sacrificed himself for the lives of others. His last act had been selfless, something that can be remembered forever. He set an example of how to be a true Marine; selfless, brave, strong, and putting others before himself. Jason truly knew what it means to be a United States Marine.
As a result of Jason's actions, he was presented with many different awards. The first being the Medal of Honor. This is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Service. Jason Dunham was given the award presented o him by the President of the United States of America, in name of Congress, for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty...". Also, Jason is being honored with the making of a Naval Warship named the USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109). There are many other awards Jason has received that further proves his heroism. Corporal Jason Dunham was born to be a Marine-he lived, breathed, and died not only a Marine, but a hero to all.