Jeff Emanuel

An amazing sacrifice, and the result of a mindset which is as intrinsic to the mind of the soldier as it is foreign to the mind of the civilian. With this act, as well as with the rest of his actions while in the service – and doubtless before – Jason Dunham displayed the incredible bravery, love, and selflessness which is the very embodiment of the Gospel of John, chapter fifteen, verse thirteen, which says, “Greater love hath no man than this – that he lay down his life for his friends.”

This Veterans Day, it is important to remember the sacrifice of men like Corporal Jason Dunham, and to reflect on the fact that America’s uniformed services are full of men and women who would gladly give their lives for their comrades, as well as for every man, woman, and child at home.

America’s armed forces are made up entirely of volunteers who knew the risks when they joined, and who willingly embrace those risks, their accompanying responsibilities, every day, both to protect their homeland and for the greater good of accomplishing their varying missions throughout the world.

This Veterans Day, take a moment to thank a friend, family member, or total stranger who has served – or is serving – this country, for, while they will never seek the praise or thanks of their fellow man, all will appreciate the gratitude. It is the least that we can do to honor those who have kept us both safe and free for the past 230 years that America has stood strong – and it is largely because of men like Jason Dunham, both in this generation and in future ones, that we shall remain so, despite the attempts of our enemies to the contrary.

I can think of no better way to conclude this piece than by quoting the best post that I have seen on Corporal Dunham to this point. From the milblog “I Love Jet Noise,” with regard to a Washington Post article on the Marine hero:

I've been trying to decide what to say about this all morning, but on reflection I think this says it all:

Lance Cpl. Dean told those assembled about a trip to Las Vegas the two men and Becky Jo Dean had taken in January, not long before the battalion left for the Persian Gulf.

Chatting in a hotel room, [Dunham] told his friends he was planning to extend his enlistment and stay in Iraq for the battalion's entire tour. "You're crazy for extending," Lance Cpl. Dean recalls saying. "Why?"

He says Cpl. Dunham responded: "I want to make sure everyone makes it home alive. I want to be sure you go home to your wife alive."

Mission accomplished, Corporal Dunham. Semper Fidelis.

Jeff Emanuel

Jeff Emanuel, a Special Operations military veteran, is a Leadership fellow with the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia, where he also studies Classics. In addition, he is a contributing editor for conservative web log, and is a columnist for the Athens, GA Banner-Herald newspaper.

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