Thursday, January 11, 2007

Medal of Honor to Corporal Jason Dunham [J. Mark English]

Marine Corps Corporal Jason Dunham made the ulitmate sacrifice of life in the defense of freedom in Iraq. Today, President Bush bestowed the Medal of Honor to Corporal Dunham. President Bush today explained how sports helped create the makings of a hero:

Long before he earned our nation's highest Medal Jason Dunham made himself -- made a name for himself among his friends and neighbors. He was born in a small town in upstate New York. He was a normal kind of fellow, he loved sports. He went to Scio Central School, and he starred on the Tiger basketball, soccer, and baseball teams. And by the way, he still holds the record for the highest batting average in a single season at .414. He was popular with his teammates, and that could be a problem for his mom. You see, she never quite knew how many people would be showing up for dinner, whether it be her family, or the entire basketball team.

He grew up with the riches far more important than money: He had a dad who loved to take his boys on a ride with him when he made his rounds on the dairy farm where he worked. His mom was a school teacher. She figured out the best way to improve her son's spelling was to combine his love for sports with her ability to educate. And so she taught him the words from his reading list when they played the basketball game of "horse." He had two brothers and a sister who adored him...

...He was the kind of person who would stop patrols to play street soccer with the Iraqi schoolchildren. (in Iraq)