Profiles in Courage: Saluting Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham – RIP

I briefly mentioned the story of Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, who was killed in an IED explosion in Iraq back in April of 2004, in this post of misc. links a few days ago, but wanted to create a separate thread about him, considering today was the day he was posthumously presented with the Medal of Honor. The NYT has a nice write up about the ceremony, and Marine Cpl Dunham:

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 — In April 2004, Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, an ordinary recruit from a small town in upstate New York, did something extraordinary: he threw himself on a grenade to shield two men in his unit as they battled insurgents on a road in Iraq.

On Thursday, President Bush gave Corporal Dunham, who was 22 when he died, the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award, presenting it to his mother and father in a somber East Room ceremony attended by his relatives and friends.

In an interview on Tuesday, as she was preparing to make the six-hour trip to Washington for the ceremony, Corporal Dunham’s mother, Debra, said she wished her son could “receive it himself.” “But we will receive it for him, and he will be watching us do that” she said.

Corporal Dunham, who was a rifle squad leader in the Marines, is the second soldier to receive the medal for service in the current war in Iraq. Prior to that, the 1993 conflict in Mogadishu, Somalia, was the last to produce Medal of Honor recipients; two Delta Army Force soldiers died protecting a downed helicopter pilot there in actions later depicted in the movie “Black Hawk Down.”

In presenting the award to the Dunhams, President Bush, who on Wednesday night told the nation he would send 20,000 additional troops to Iraq, cited Corporal Dunham’s uncommon valor and said that he “gave his own life so that the men under his command might live.”

The president shed tears during the ceremony.

“He was the guy who signed on for an extra two months in Iraq so he could stay with his squad” President Bush said. “As he explained it, he wanted to make sure that everyone makes it home alive. Corporal Dunham took that promise seriously and would give his own life to make it good.”


Caption: Debra Dunham joined President Bush as her son, Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, left, was posthumously presented the Medal of Honor. Jim Watson/Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

Rest in peace, Cpl. Dunham.


Photo courtesy of the Dunham Family via the AP


Photo courtesy of Mark Edward Dean/WSJ

We hear a lot about the bad news in Iraq …

… now it’s time for some good news.

Bill Crawford from the All Things Conservative blog has a lengthy piece up at National Review on positive developments in Iraq. Make sure to read it all.

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Speaking of Iraq, NRO’s posted a symposium on Bush’s speech. Check it out here. Additional commentary can be found here and here.

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Former US Ambassador to Sudan Tim Carney has been asked by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to be the reconstruction coordinator for Iraq, according to the Washington Post. Michael Rubin provides some background on Carney here and here and is skeptical on Carney being the right man for the job.

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The Post gleefully reports this morning that “most” Americans are opposed to Bush’s plan. The NYT joins in the bashing with their story headlined Promising Troops Where They Aren’t Really Wanted.

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Captain Ed notes a flip flop on Republican presidential contender Senator Sam Brownback’s position on sending more troops to Iraq. Shame shame, Senator.

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Bryan Preston and Michelle Malkin are in Iraq and have photos and commentary to share on what they’ve learned and seen so far here and here. Bill at INDC is also in Iraq (Fallujah, specifically) and reports back on what he’s seeing here and here. All of those pieces should be considered must-reads.

Conservatives with Attitude podcast

Tuesday night, Michael Illions from GOPUSA-NJ interviewed yours truly and John Hawkins once again for his latest Conservatives with Attitude segment. The topic was Democrats plans for the first 100 hours, our preliminary thoughts on what we hoped the President would say in his speech, and additional thoughts on the Republican race for the 2008 nomination for president. You can listen to it here.