Corproal Jason Dunham – Missile Destroyer commissioned in his honor

May G-d Bless his family and the people serving on that ship.

Thank you Jason for your devotion and courage.

May G-d be with you and rest in peace!

What and awesome Veterans Day this is!

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WNY fallen hero gets huge honor:

Updated: Thursday, 11 Nov 2010, 12:25 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 11 Nov 2010, 12:25 PM EST

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – While we honor our veterans, a western New York Marine who died a hero is about to get a huge honor of his own.

Jason Dunham would have been 28 years old Wednesday, but his life was cut short when he sacrificed himself for his fellow comrades while serving in Iraq.

The Allegany County native will be always be remembered for his unremarkable act of bravery.

The Navy’s newest missile destroyer pulled into Port Everglades, Florida last week.

The ship is named for Corproal Jason Dunham, who grew up in Allegany County and made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq in 2004 at the age of 22. The Marine threw himself on top of a grenade to shield his comrades from the blast.

Back in 2006, he was awarded the medal of honor posthumously by President Bush.

His parents, Deb and Dan Dunham were there to accept on their son’s behalf.

In 2009, the Dunhams christened the ship. Deb talked about her son receiving the highest military honor.

Deb said, “The award is something that he would be very honored and proud of because of the military standing behind it, for Dan and I it’s an acknowledgement of what his actions were and that’s the way he lived his life.”

Deb is grateful that the military is carrying on her sons legacy.

“She’s got a heart as big as her son’s ship,” said Mark Steffan of WNY Patriot Guard.

Members of the western New York Patriot Guard will be there as invited guests.

Steffan said, “It blew me away when Commander Sciretta asked me if there’s a chance we could bring some bikes down to the commissioning. This was over a year ago at the Dunham house.”

Hundreds of Patriot Guard members are expected to be there in the flag line of honor.

Steffan said, “Everybody coming into the commissioning will pass the flags and the members in the flagline which we do at funerals and memorial services for veterans.”

A crowd of over 5,000 is expected in Florida for the commissioning this weekend.

The ship is longer than two football fields and inside there’s a special tribute to Dunham’s love of sports with his Scio High School basketball jersey and New York Yankee memorabilia.

The homeport for the ship will be Norfolk, Virginia.


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