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Sky-high security: JGSDF showcases latest air-defense systems with U.S. forces
Marines with Marine Air Control Group 18, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, hosted Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members with the 15th Anti-aircraft Artillery Regiment who showcased new air-defense equipment April 16 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.   The event afforded the Marines, alongside U.S. Army soldiers with 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment


Wed, 23 Apr 2014 01:56:05 GMT
Tips for summer PCS with success
Many Marines with families are slated to permanently change station in the upcoming summer months. Moving to and from an overseas duty station, such as Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, can be stressful and unfamiliar to even senior service members.  According to Chief Warrant Officer 4 Sandy Alvarez, director of the station Installation

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:14:00 GMT
Super squad competition pushes Marines to the limit
They were on call for nearly a week, the anticipation building, until finally, at 2 a.m., the call came. All squad leaders were ordered to report to the armory with their Marines.   After checking out weapons, six squads of Marines with 2nd Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group threw on their packs and 


Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:23:00 GMT
11th MEU, PHIBRON 5 unite for first at-sea period
Marines and sailors with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Amphibious Squadron 5 (PHIBRON 5) completed two weeks of sea-based predeployment training off the coast of San Diego, April 18.  PHIBRON Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT) was the first full-scale at-sea event in the 11th MEU's predeployment cycle. The training


Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:46:00 GMT
1st Recon conducts HAHO training aboard Fort Lewis-McChord
Marines from Bravo Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, conducted a combat readiness exercise earlier this month at Fort Lewis-McChord, Wash.  The company performed the training to assess their ability to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance operations as they prepare to operate as a Maritime Raid Force with the 15th Marine Expeditionary


Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:22:00 GMT
6th Marine Corps District hosts Recruiter Instructor Training Symposium
Recruiter instructors from across the Southeast were in attendance for the 6th Marine Corps District Recruiter Instructor Training Symposium held here April 1-4, 2014.  The symposium is held each year to provide the district’s core recruiter trainers with the information and training needed to stay on top of the latest recruiting trends and

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:38:00 GMT
Field meet gathers CLR-25 for competition, fun
Shoutsrang out across the field of battle - encouragement for each service member togo faster, push harder. The calls echoed as the competition between opposingunits waged on in the morning chill.    Marines and sailors with CombatLogistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group gathered around the chaosduring the regiment’s field meet here,


Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:32:00 GMT
Super squad competition pushes Marines to the limit
They were on call for nearly a week, the anticipation building, until finally, at 2 a.m., the call came. All squad leaders were ordered to report to the armory with their Marines.   After checking out weapons, six squads of Marines with 2nd Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group threw on their packs and


Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:23:00 GMT
Field meet gathers CLR-25 for competition, fun
Shouts rang out across the field of battle - encouragement for each service member to go faster, push harder. The calls echoed as the competition between opposing units waged on in the morning chill.          Marines and sailors with Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group gathered around the chaos during the regiment’s field meet


Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:32:00 GMT
50M Pool to open in May
Not only does April showers bring May flowers, but they also help fill the Quantico 50M Pool, which is scheduled to open May 24, for all service members, family members, military retirees and DOD civilians.  Patrons will be able to use the pool until Sept. 15, without enduring price-increases or other changes compared to last year. “Our prices are


Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:04:00 GMT
 
A Decade Later, a Marine’s Selfless Actions Live On (Corps Connections) (Features)
Article By Gunnery Sgt. Scott Dunn
On the anniversary of his death, a look at what has kept alive the legacy of Cpl. Jason L. Dunham.   A little more than 10 years ago, Cpl. Jason L. Dunham was just one  [Read more...]
Article By Gunnery Sgt. Scott Dunn
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Scott Dunn/Released)

On April 18, 2004, Cpl. Jason L. Dunham gave his life shielding his fellow Marines from a grenade. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his selfless actions. Ten years later, his legendary actions live on. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Scott Dunn/Released)

On the anniversary of his death, a look at what has kept alive the legacy of Cpl. Jason L. Dunham.

 

Cpl. Jason L. Dunham gave his life in an act of selflessness while deployed to Iraq in 2004. The memory of his dedication to his country and Corps lives on and will continue to live on for generations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Scott Dunn/Released)

Cpl. Jason L. Dunham gave his life in an act of selflessness while deployed to Iraq in 2004. The memory of his dedication to his country and Corps lives on and will continue to live on for generations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Scott Dunn/Released)

A little more than 10 years ago, Cpl. Jason L. Dunham was just one of many Marines serving with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. But one split-second decision on April 14, 2004, secured his place as a Marine Corps hero who will never be forgotten. 

Their son’s story is a two-parter: the time he lived in the tangible world, and after.

He was an athlete, a prankster and a protector, and when he became a man, he was too soon gone, dead at 22.

Dan and Debra Dunham’s son Jason died 10 years ago in Bethesda, Md., from a brain injury suffered in Iraq. Dan ordered Jason off life support, and at 4:43 p.m., April 22, 2004, part two began.

Dan said day one, year 10, is no different than day one, year zero: “It’s as vivid in my mind as the day it happened. The eight-day struggle, the day we sat there and held his hand when he passed away – I can remember every single second of it.”

Yet the son was not lost. Legends have a way of overriding worldly constraints.

Cpl. Jason Dunham's parents, Dan and Deb, stand aboard USS Jason Dunham. Ten years ago, Dunham sacrificed his life to save his fellow Marines while deployed to Iraq. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Scott Dunn/Released)

Cpl. Jason Dunham’s parents, Dan and Deb, stand aboard USS Jason Dunham. Ten years ago, Dunham sacrificed his life to save his fellow Marines while deployed to Iraq. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Scott Dunn/Released)

“The Marine Corps does not forget Jason. They teach and honor what he’s done,” Deb said. “He’s present, and we can talk in the present because you’re honoring him and you’re remembering him, and you don’t forget.”

Cpl. Jason L. Dunham received the Medal of Honor for taking the brunt of a grenade blast that would have killed at least two other Marines.*

“What he did was a flash of self-sacrifice and courage,” said journalist and author Michael Phillips. “He had three seconds to decide, ‘Am I willing to die, right now, for my friends?’”

Jason the protector did not waver in his response.

 

Here we look at a list of definitive moments and commemorations from the past decade that have served to keep Dunham’s memory alive.

A Commandant Visits: April 22, 2004 (Gen. Michael Hagee, the Marine Corps commandant at the time, visited the hospital. He hugged Deb, spoke to the parents and presented Jason with the Purple Heart.) Jason died at 4:43 p.m. after an eight-day journey home battling a mortal brain injury. One other American service member died during combat operations that day: Army Spc. Pat Tillman.

A Funeral: May 1, 2004. Scio, N.Y. “The capacity auditorium of more than 1,500 people overflowed with mourners as townspeople came to honor Jason and rally around the Dunham family. Brother Kyle, who was 15 when Jason died, was comforted by the preacher who said, ‘God must have found others who needed Jason more than we did.’ Many who could not fit in the auditorium stood outside or waited on their porches as the casket passed in procession from the schoolhouse to nearby Fairlawn Cemetery.”

The Nomination: May 2004. Michael Phillips: “I arrived in Al Qaim-Husaybah area maybe two weeks after he had died, and so people were talking about him because they were putting together the Medal of Honor package.

“It was fairly soon afterwards that they realized he put himself on this grenade; he put his helmet on this grenade. They had his helmet, which had been shredded. Within weeks they were putting him in for the Medal of Honor. But it had to work its way from the battalion to the division and MEF, basically Gen. Mattis, and from there up to the White House, which took time.”

A Book: May 2005. The Gift of Valor, A War Story, Broadway Books published a 241-page paperback. The author Michael Phillips: “Dozens and dozens of people – on airplanes, in hospitals, in the dirt in Iraq – took care of Jason Dunham after he was injured, and if I were a young Marine going into combat the first time or the tenth time, I would want to know that people are with me, people I’ve never met are with me, and that if something happens to me, they’re going to take care of me and they’re going to respect and take care of my family.”

A Law: Dec. 18, 2005, H.R. 4515: The facility of the United States Postal Service located at 4422 West Sciota Street in Scio, New York, shall be known and designated as the “Corporal Jason L. Dunham Post Office.”

An announcement: November 10, 2006. Medal announcement on what would have been Jason’s 25th birthday.

The Medal: Jan. 11, 2007. President Bush Presents Medal of Honor to Corporal Jason Dunham. Read More 

A Ship’s Namesake: March 23, 2007. DDG-109 named. Read More

Barracks: Aug. 17, 2007. Marine Corps Security Force Company names its barracks at the naval submarine base in Kings Bay, Ga. Read More 

A Few of His Things: July 11, 2009. Mast stepping ceremony, at Bath Iron Works Shipyard in Bath, Maine.

“The Dunhams, Gibson and the ship’s captain placed a package containing items such as the last letter Cpl. Dunham wrote home, a set of his dog tags, his Purple Heart and the guidon for his company into a small metal box inside of the warship’s mast.  Aided by a master welder, the group welded the box closed, sealing the items in the mast of the ship permanently.”  Read More 

A Launch: Aug. 1, 2009. DDG 109 christening. Read More

The ship’s inflatable patrol boats were subsequently named Miller and Hampton, whose lives Cpl. Dunham has been credited with saving.

Hampton: “Yeah. The Billy Hampton and the Kelly Miller. Absolutely it’s an honor. It’s kind of like the ship is the squad leader. The Billy Hampton points forward; the Kelly Miller points to the rear. It kind of makes me think that the ship is the squad leader, the one pointing forward is the team leader and the one on the reverse is our point man. It makes me feel like we’re always going to be together.”

The Road Home: Aug. 25, 2011. Amity, N.Y., highway and bridge rededicated “Corporal Jason Dunham Memorial Highway” and “Corporal Jason Dunham Memorial Bridge,”

“Cpl. Dunham is a true American hero.  This bridge and roadway will not only honor Cpl. Dunham for his sacrifices, but also will serve as a reminder to anyone traveling the roadways here that they are living in a free society because of the men and women who are willing to fight, and sometimes die, to protect our freedoms,” said State Senator Catharine Young. Read More 

A Mess Hall: Feb. 18, 2014. Dedication ceremony of the Cpl. Jason L. Dunham Memorial Mess Hall at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. Read More

140218-M-KI464-035

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Ali Azimi/Released)

A Life Saved: Lance Cpl. William “Billy” Hampton was one of the Marines Dunham saved. Today Hampton is 31. The Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran medically retired as a sergeant from active service July 30, 2010.

Hampton took to an outdoorsy life of hunting, growing food and raising animals with his wife and three children in the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest.

He said Dunham absolutely saved his life.

“Jason not only gave me the gift of life, he gave me that life transformed into what’s now my retirement. I get to do whatever I want to do. I can go out to the garden, I can take the kids to the park, I can go out back and just sit with my chickens and watch them scratch. I can grab Mama and the boy and we can go up on the mountain and we can do whatever.

“I struggle with survivor’s guilt, but I think Dan and Deb have helped me move on from that. Talking with them and visiting them and being in constant contact with them has ultimately helped me let go of it. My girls know who Jason is and when my son gets older, he’ll know who Jason is. Not only about Jason but … all the other Marines that I’ve known that didn’t come home. They know, and they kind of understand when Daddy needs to go outside. What’s helped me is being able to pass on the memories to the kids and to my wife.”

A Homecoming: April 5, 2013. The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) returned to Naval Station Norfolk, marking the successful completion of her maiden deployment.

Dan: It’s one of the Navy’s toughest ships … it’s here to look out for the little guy, and that’s what Jason did.


Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:16:24 +0000
 
Marines become martial arts instructors
After 15 days training through sweat, blood, mud and tears, students of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor Course finally achieved what they had been striving for — their instructor tab.
Marines become martial arts instructors
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:45:00 -0400
Marines become martial arts instructors [Image 8 of 8]
Sgt. Joshua Rangle, a student with the Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor Course, competes in a pull-up competition, the losing team had to perform 10 burpees March 24, 2014. Marines from commands surrounding Fort George G. Meade, Md., attended the course March 14 through April 4. The competition was a part of the daily warm up, exercise and flexibility.
Marines become martial arts instructors [Image 8 of 8]
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:43:05 -0400
Marines become martial arts instructors [Image 7 of 8]
Sgt. Justin Boling drags Sgt. Joshua Rangle, students with the Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor Course, during a buddy warm-up, exercise and flexibility April 24, 2014. Marines from commands surrounding Fort George G. Meade, Md., attended the course March 14 through April 4. The students completed five exercises with 10 repetitions each in between dragging a fellow Marine and preforming different exercises in between cones.
Marines become martial arts instructors [Image 7 of 8]
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:42:39 -0400
Marines become martial arts instructors [Image 6 of 8]
Sgt. Justin Boling and Cpl. Austin Ross, students with the Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor Course, complete the NATO course at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., March 24, 2014. Marines from commands surrounding Fort Meade attended the course March 14 through April 4. Earlier in the day, the students toured Raider Hall at the Martial Arts Center for Excellence, the students went there to study the history of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
Marines become martial arts instructors [Image 6 of 8]
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:42:33 -0400
Marines become martial arts instructors [Image 5 of 8]
Master Sgt. Jason Whitesel, a Martial Arts Instructor Trainer, lectures students of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor Course at Fort George G. Meade, Md., March 24, 2014. Marines from commands surrounding Fort Meade attended the course March 14 through April 4. The students received lectures, classes on Marine Corps and Marine Corps Martial Arts history as well as guidance on the proper way to instruct.
Marines become martial arts instructors [Image 5 of 8]
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:42:13 -0400
 
Mandatory On-post Housing & Changes to POV Shipping
  Mandatory On-post housing:  The Mandatory Housing Assignment Policy #63 is effective this year to reduce the number of on-post housing vacancies.   We encourage sponsors for new community members to inform incoming servicemembers of this policy. To view the letter, please visit the following link: MANDATORY HOUSING ASSIGNMENT POLICY LETTER

Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:47:00 GMT
US Marines, sailors to conduct training in Nigeria
Approximately 20 Marines and sailors from Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 14 will travel in April to Nigeria to conduct a theater security cooperation mission designed to improve the military capacity of our African partners and better enable them to prevent conflict and increase regional security. The American service members


Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:10:28 GMT
SP-MAGTF Africa Marines continue donating to relief society
Every year between March and April, Marines and sailors participate in an annual fund drive for the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society.  The NMCRS provides financial assistance to service members with the Navy and Marine Corps, their family members, widows and survivors.  According to 1st Lt. Wes Roberts, the adjutant for Special-Purpose Marine


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:50:51 GMT
U.S., Estonian service members meet with Latvian high school students
United States Marines with Black Sea Rotational Force 14, from 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, are currently in Latvia training with the local army for exercise Summer Shield along with Estonian and Lithuanian service members, but they were able to make a special trip to a small school in the rural Latvian countryside to


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:30:00 GMT
Multinational participation plays key factor to Exercise African Lion
In the current global-security environment, one nation isn’t enough. After decades of overseas contingency operations, from the sands of Afghanistan to the jungles of Mali, coalitions are a clear indicator of partner nations’ commitment to worldwide stability and security.   Exercise African Lion is U.S. Africa Command’s flagship program in


Mon, 14 Apr 2014 06:50:00 GMT
US Marine, Coastguardsman work together, train with Togolese Navy, Gendarmerie
A U.S. Marine and U.S. Coastguardsmen traveled to Lomé, Togo, to demonstrate small-boat engine mechanics to a group of sailors and Gendarmerie from the Togo Navy, March 22-29.  Lance Cpl. Tyler Jackson, a Marine with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 14.1, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Spence, a Coastguardsman with U.S. Coast


Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:15:50 GMT
Marines land in Morocco, demonstrate crisis response capability
In today’s security environment, the ability to quickly place military personnel on a location anywhere on the globe is at a premium. In order to stay ready for that task, the U.S. Marines of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force conducted a training mission in Tifnit, Morocco, April 3, 2014. Their mission was executed in conjunction with


Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:25:55 GMT
International military police officers find common ground at African Lion 14
Military police officers from the U.S. Marines, Army and Air Force, along with Royal Moroccan soldiers specializing in riot-control, found common ground as enforcers of the law during African Lion 14.  The training engagement, out on the desert-lined coast of Tifnit, Morocco, focused on more than training alongside partners; it integrated the


Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:13:00 GMT
Marines conduct non-lethal weapons training in Nigeria
A group of Marines with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 14.1 recently returned from a five-day training exercise in Abuja, Nigeria, March 22.  The group of four Marines trained approximately 20 Nigerian soldiers on basic non-lethal weapons techniques in support of U.S. Africa Command and Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa’s


Fri, 04 Apr 2014 10:33:00 GMT
US Marines demonstrate non-lethal weapons to Ghanaian sailors
Three Marines with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 14.1 trained a group of sailors from the Ghana Navy in non-lethal weapons tactics in Takoradi, Ghana, March 17-21.  Capt. Travis Posey and Lance Cpls. Sheridan Halfacre and Dewayne Gregory traveled from Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, with members of a small theater security


Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:10:00 GMT
 
Marine Corps Warfighting Lab begins ship-to-shore landing craft
Members of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab arrived here to test a model version of the Ultra Heavy-lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC) March 3. The UHAC is an amphibious craft that has three times the lift capacity and greater coastal access than the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC.) “It’s promising because it allows a greater lift and it’s exciting

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 04:00:00 GMT
Marines and Australians train together in the Top End
Marines slowly edge their way to the firing line as adrenaline courses through their veins. Assuming their firing positions, they insert their magazines and prepare to fire. As the command was given, the sharp crack of rifles could be heard through the jungle as Marines and Australian Soldiers sent rounds downrange towards their targets.  Marines

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:40:00 GMT
Marines increase presence in Australia with third iteration of MRF-D
Service members at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay departed here, March 25, to begin a six-month deployment to Australia’s Northern Territory as part of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin. Approximately 100 Marines from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 (HMH-463) and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24 (MALS-24), as well as four CH-53E


Thu, 27 Mar 2014 01:14:00 GMT
Marine Corps Warfighting Lab begins testing ship-to-shore landing craft
Members of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab arrived here to test a model version of the Ultra Heavy-lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC) March 3. The UHAC is an amphibious craft that has three times the lift capacity and greater coastal access than the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC.) “It’s promising because it allows a greater lift and it’s exciting


Wed, 19 Mar 2014 02:47:00 GMT
Exercise Cobra Gold 2014 concludes
Exercise Cobra Gold 2014 concluded Feb. 21 following a multilateral combined arms live-fire exercise at Royal Thai Navy Tactical Training Center Ban Chan Krem, Kingdom of Thailand.  Cobra Gold is the largest multinational and multiservice exercise in Southeast Asia, which takes places annually throughout the Kingdom of Thailand. This year’s


Fri, 21 Feb 2014 21:21:00 GMT
Culminating event strengthens interoperability at Cobra Gold
The roar of jets overhead diverts the attention of the crowd to the sky as aircraft drop various types of ordinance. The rumble of tanks approaching is heard at the same time as the crack of the explosion. The combined arms live-fire exercise has started.  Marines from the Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Thailand and United States came together in


Fri, 21 Feb 2014 20:31:00 GMT
Royal Thai, US Marines practice entry methods
Royal Thai and U.S. Marines conducted methods of entry training Feb. 15 at Ban Chan Krem, Kingdom of Thailand during Exercise Cobra Gold.   The purpose of the training was to demonstrate to Royal Thai Marine infantrymen and combat engineers the Marine Corps explosive ordinance disposal’s tactics, techniques and procedures for breaching an   


Fri, 21 Feb 2014 07:34:00 GMT
Osprey supports multinational Marine fast-rope drills
Ever since the MV-22B Osprey was fully implemented into the Marine Corps, U.S. Marines have been riding, rappelling and parachuting out of them as part of operations and exercises.   Royal Thai, Republic of Korea and U.S. Marines conducted fast-rope drills out of an MV-22B Osprey Feb. 18 in Hat Yao, Kingdom of Thailand during Exercise Cobra


Thu, 20 Feb 2014 22:16:00 GMT
Royal Thai, U.S. Marines partner to improve combat accuracy, effectiveness
“Shooters, STANDBY!” echoes across the range as a line of Royal Thai and U.S Marines bring their rifles up to their shoulders and lean forward into their buttstocks.  Each shooter stands prepared to fire on the appropriate command. When that moment comes, the smell of sulfur fills the air as each Marine starts taking steps toward their target,


Wed, 19 Feb 2014 05:00:00 GMT
School dedication symbolizes regional cooperation during
Dignitaries with the Kingdom of Thailand, U.S. and People’s Republic of China came together for a building dedication ceremony Feb. 18 at the Wattatakian School in Phitsanulok province, Kingdom of Thailand, during Exercise Cobra Gold 2014.  Cobra Gold, in its 33rd iteration, is designed to advance regional security and ensure effective response to


Tue, 18 Feb 2014 05:00:00 GMT
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