As we prepare to mark Veterans Day it is fitting that today is also the 241st birthday of the United States Marine Corps. It is also the 35th birthday of Marine Corporal Jason Lee Dunham, the Western New York soldier who gave his life on the battlefield in Iraq.
His is a remarkable story, a young Marine who had only been in-country for 3 months, far from his home in Scio in Allegany County.
While on patrol in April 2004, he and his men were attacked by Iraqi insurgents. Dunham saved the lives of his comrades when he deliberately fell onto a live grenade. He was gravely wounded and immediately flown back to the United States. Jason Dunham was only 22 years old when he died 8 days later.
7-EWN Anchor Keith Radford recently spent time with Dunham's family and found that even after 12 years the heart and spirit of this young Southern Tier soldier is still touching people today.
Dunham became the first Marine in 40 years to be awarded the Medal of Honor, the nations highest military tribute. The Jason Dunham story, there is no higher honor.