b. 10/11/1981 Scio, New York. d. 22/04/2004 Betheseda, Maryland.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 14/04/2004 Karabillah, Iraq.
Jason Dunham, was born on November 10, 1981 in Scio, New York, and resided there his entire life with his parents, Daniel and Debra, and his three siblings, two brothers and a sister. Coincidentally he was born on the 206th anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps. He graduated from Scio High School in 2000, having played basketball for his high school team.
Dunham joined the Marine Corps in 2000. After graduating from recruit training on 27 October 2000 from Golf Company Platoon 2092, he served as a Security Force sentry at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia until 2003.
In early 2004, he was serving as a squad leader with 4th Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force. His unit was based in Al-Karbilah.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First Marine Division (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.
BURIAL LOCATION: FAIRLAWN CEMETERY, SCIO, NEW YORK.
Section 2, Lot 88, Space 4