29 March 2007

Hero Remembered

I wrote here about a young Marine who gave his life to save his warrior brothers and was awarded the Medal of Honor. He and his squadmates had been discussing what they would do if they were faced with a grenade attack. CPL Dunham theorized that a Kevlar helmet placed over the grenade and held down with the body would allow the grenade to detonate without injuring anyone.

He got the chance soon after to test his theory. Unfortunately, his theory was wrong. He did not hesitate to try it out, however, and his actions saved the other men in his squad.

On March 23rd the Secretary of the Navy announced that the Navy would remember. The newest Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer, DDG 109, will be named USS Jason Dunham.

The Navy considers the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to be its most capable and survivable surface combatant. Originally designed to defend against Soviet aircraft, cruise missiles, and nuclear attack submarines, this high capability ship is used in high-threat areas to conduct antiair, antisubmarine, antisurface, and strike operations. The Burke class guided missile destroyers incorporate the Aegis air defense system and SPY-1 phased array radar. Flight IIA ships, of which Jason Dunham is one, also embark the LAMPS helicopter as part of it's anti-submarine warfare arsenal.

Rest well Marine. The ship that proudly bears your name will continue to serve the country you loved and defended with your life, carrying on the tradition that you established.

We remember.

Semper Fi.
US Navy photo, Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer USS O'Kane (DDG-77)

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