The Navy recently announced that the USS JASON DUNHAM (DDG 109), the Navy’s most advanced Arleigh Burke Class, Aegis Guided Missile Destroyer will be commissioned in Port Everglades on November 13, 2010. The event is expected to draw thousands to the port following a week of events and activities for the crew and their families. The last time a ship was commissioned in Port Everglades was in 2005 and drew a crowd of 5,000. It is anticipated that this commissioning will draw an even larger crowd of patriotic Americans when they learn the story behind this ship’s name.
The warship is named after heroic United States Marine Corporal Jason Dunham who sacrificed his life by using his helmet to cover a hand grenade dropped by an insurgent. His spontaneous action saved the lives of two fellow Marines during Operation Iraqi Freedom in April 2004. Jason sustained serious injuries from the blast and died eight days later. He was 22. Jason served with Company K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment (3/7). President George W. Bush honored Jason for his actions with the issue of the Medal of Honor Citation posthumously. He is the first Marine Medal of Honor recipient for Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first Marine to receive the medal since the Vietnam War.
The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is awarded to members of the armed forces who distinguish themselves at the risk of their life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy.
Corporal Jason L. Dunham was born on November 10, 1981 in Scio, New York (population 1900). The date is significant in that the United States Marine Corps celebrates this day – faithfully – each year – as their official birthday!
C. A. (Chuck) Black
Chairman, USS JASON DUNHAM (DDG 109)
The Navy League of the United States – Fort Lauderdale Council is recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization to which charitable donations are tax-deductible. This organization is the sponsoring organization for the Commissioning.
If you would prefer, I can provide a 15 minute presentation. Please call me Chuck Black at (954) 547-8858 to arrange an appointment.