« Military Roundup | Main | Hillary Clinton Approves of Pelosi's Ill-advised Remarks »

May 25, 2004

No Words

I've been trying to decide what to say about this all morning. Sometimes words just fail.

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, the corporal 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.

Read Corporal Dunham's story...

- Cassandra

May 25, 2004 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83452b19169e200d83420ae3953ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference No Words:

» Sacrifice from BLACKFIVE
I received a lot of emails today about this story from the Wall Street Journal. Cassandra at I Love Jet Noise posted a copy of it. Go there and read it. It's a must read. [Read More]

Tracked on May 25, 2004 10:45:36 PM

» Memorial Day Reading from Advisory Opinion
If you missed the tearjerker about Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham in Tuesday's WSJ, you really have to read it. I just read it today, after a friend insisted last night that I get to it. He was right, it's not [Read More]

Tracked on May 28, 2004 6:14:57 PM

» The Gift Of Valor from Seat 1A
Because of my role at Command Post, I'm occasionally sent a book to read, sometimes with a request for a review and sometimes not. Last week I was offered a review copy of Michael Phillip's new book, The Gift of [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 12, 2005 11:06:01 AM

» The Gift Of Valor from Seat 1A
Because of my role at Command Post, I'm occasionally sent a book to read, sometimes with a request for a review and sometimes not. Last week I was offered a review copy of Michael Phillip's new book, The Gift of [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 12, 2005 11:10:22 AM

» The Gift Of Valor from The Command Post Publisher's Desk
Because of my role at Command Post, I’m occasionally sent a book to read, sometimes with a request for a review and sometimes not. Last week I was offered a review copy of Michael Phillip’s new book, The Gift of... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 12, 2005 11:15:35 AM

» The Gift Of Valor from The Command Post Publisher's Desk
Because of my role at Command Post, I’m occasionally sent a book to read, sometimes with a request for a review and sometimes not. Last week I was offered a review copy of Michael Phillip’s new book, The Gift of... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 12, 2005 11:23:37 AM

Comments

Cass,
No melodrama here, but it's fair to also add: "have kleenex handy while reading". No point in anyone fighting back tears reading that. The tears will win. Reading about Corporal Dunham and those like him reminds me to more cautious when ascribing the term "leader" on just anyone (I'm thinking of "politicians" especially). The kind of selflessness exemplified by the Corporal Dunhams of this world is both convicting and humbling.

Although, at the same time, I become even more loathsome of the press who would rather do over the top rehashing of some perversities done by a few than give the front page to the Corporal Dunhams.

I simply felt "obligated" to say somethig after reading such a story, yet as with you-- adequate words fail me. Cpl Dunham-- A 100% TRUE Hero.

Posted by: CKCat at May 25, 2004 2:05:26 PM

Hear hear.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 25, 2004 2:08:45 PM

Yeah, it pretty much tore me up. Hard to type when you can't see, and I really couldn't think of anything to say for the longest time.

How do you add anything to a story like that?

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2004 2:35:00 PM

The man's a hero.

Posted by: Purple Raider at May 25, 2004 3:56:17 PM

Who Will Answer?

From the Canyons of the Mind
We wander on, and stumble blindly
Through the often tangled Maze
Of Starless Nights and Sunless Days
While asking for some kind of Clue
A Road to lead us to the Truth -
But... Who will Answer?

Side by side two People stand
Together vowing hand-in-hand
That Love's imbedded in their Hearts
But soon, an empty Feeling starts
To overwhelm their hollow Lives
And when they seek the Hows and Whys -
Who will Answer?

On a strange and distant Hill
A young man's lying very still
His Arms will never hold his Child
Because a Bullet running wild
Has struck him down, and now we cry:
"Dear God, oh why, oh why" -
Who will Answer?

High upon a lonely Ledge
A Figure teeters near the Edge
As jeering Crowds collect below
To egg him on with "Go, man Go"
But who will ask what led him
To his private Day of Doom -
And... Who will Answer?


Refrain:

If the Soul is Darkened
By a Fear it cannot name
If the Mind is Baffled
When the Rules don't fit the Game
Who will Answer?, Who will Answer?, Who will Answer?
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


In the Rooms with darkened Shades
A Scent of Sandalwood pervades
The colored Thoughts in muddled Heads
Reclining on rumpled Beds
Of unmade Dreams that can't come true
When we ask what we should do -
Who will Answer?

Neath the spreading Mushroom Tree
The World revolves in Apathy
As overhead a Row of Specks
Roars on, drowned out by Discotheques
And if a Secret Button's pressed
Because one Man has been outguessed -
Who will Answer?

Is our Hope in Walnut Shells
Worn round the Neck With Temple Bells
Or deep within some Cloistered Walls
Where hooded Figures pray In Halls
Or from old Books on dusty Shelves
Or in our Stars, or in Ourselves? -
Who will Answer?


Refrain:

If the Soul is Darkened
By a Fear it cannot name
If the Mind is Baffled
When the Rules don't fit the Game
Who will Answer?, Who will Answer?, Who will Answer?
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at May 25, 2004 4:54:20 PM

The term hero gets thrown around to casually these days, that would not be the case with Cpl Dunham.

Every news story I see has the pretext of whether the Bush policy has failed and how will this effect the polls and ultimately the election.
To hell with the election, our country is at war, it is important that we win. With todays press coverage it is questionable if we would have won WWII.

Posted by: Pile On® at May 25, 2004 5:31:32 PM

If we had won WWII in spite of them, would they have reported it? :)

Or would it have been: another quagmire - we'll never get our forces out of Europe (and 50 years later, they might have a point on that one...) - democracy will never work in Japan...more American imperialism/exceptionalsm...reckless, arrogant, bring in the UN... yada yada yada...

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2004 8:48:34 PM

Actually Cass, I seem to remember a post WWII Life Magazine article that you linked to one time that said as much.

Posted by: Pile On® at May 25, 2004 9:00:54 PM

Dammit that hurt! Hurt and pride all intermingled! What a great young man, young leader, young Marine! Makes you want to scream your pride of these young warriors from the hills and rooftops!

Heaven's perimeter is secure.
God Bless Cpl Dunham and his Family.
See you on the other side Marine!

Semper Fidelis

Posted by: JarheadDad at May 25, 2004 9:18:11 PM

Doesn't surprise me Mr. On. My mind is going. I was looking back through old posts (507 of them so far) and realized I don't even remember writing some of them.

That is truly scary...

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2004 9:34:13 PM

Cass, I think it was a long time ago on scrappleface. They key difference between then and now, is that was post war, this isn't. During the war the country pulled together for the war effort, including the media. Access was limited and they didn't have 24/7 coverage.

Posted by: Pile On® at May 25, 2004 9:43:23 PM

I'm shocked...are you suggesting that there might be some limits on the absolute power of the media?

Sounds suspiciously like....propaganda.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2004 9:46:59 PM

Propaganda, by definition isn't necessarily bad. If it is true and in support of that which is good, there is nothing wrong with it. OTOH, if it is lies or misleading, well then that could be bad.

Posted by: Pile On® at May 25, 2004 10:50:58 PM

You're preaching to the choir, Brother On.

We're fighting against Al-Jazeera and you can't tell me they're not waging a propaganda war. But somehow we're supposed to combat that by "showing all our warts" and "admitting our mistakes"?

Maybe we could just expose our soft underbelly while we're at it...

Oops, my bad. Hillary and Nancy Pelosi are on that like a big dog.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2004 10:58:54 PM

I just finished reading "The Nightingale's Song", and the parallel's with some of the reactions to the troops today and in the '60's is striking.

I posted the very melancholy "Who Will Answer" above because I feel so deeply about the tragedy of these young men dying so far from home, and possibly with so little honor and recognition from their countrymen. Corporal Dunham's life (and death) have to count for something, don't they? He was a real, live, irreplaceable man, not just someone's number on a tote board.
Who will remember? Someone's got to remember this man. I hope America remembers.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at May 27, 2004 4:44:42 PM

Don:

I think people will remember. I guess I engaged in my own act of civil disobedience when I copied the WSJ's article - I keep waiting for them to come after me (and perhaps they will). But maybe they won't. I just felt it was too important a story to be "subscription only" - it needed to be told. And I hope if they do come after me, they will keep that in mind - the Journal has shown on other occasions that they are a public-spirited company.

It wasn't something I did lightly or without thought. And that article was so well-written and so moving - I just thought it should have a wider readership than it ever was going to get. That young man's sacrifice deserves to be shared with as many people as possible so people know the price of freedom.

His military family will never forget him - that's for certain. As for America, they will probably not remember, but that's the way of things. And even in the military, we can't cry all the time - we have our times of remembrance.

And then we have times when we just enjoy being alive. Because after all, that's what our men and women in uniform fight for - so we can have so many moments when we don't have the weight of the world on our shoulders. When we're at peace, when we're secure in our homes and our neighborhoods. That is a priceless gift, purchased at great cost and paid for in blood and sweat and many tears by our military and their families.

America should be reminded of that.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 27, 2004 5:10:02 PM

Amen.

Posted by: Pile On® at May 27, 2004 10:16:38 PM

I linked to this one for you ma'am

Your right. Folks need to know.

Posted by: BloodSpite at May 30, 2004 1:35:47 AM

An amazing story. I heard about it from my son with the Lonestar Dustoff, an Army Medevac unit attached to the 1st Marine Exp Force in Iraq.

Does anyone know anything about the crew that made that record breaking trip from the field hospital? They too are heros and I know they would give their all for the Marines they are with - the Marines would do the same for them as well.

Posted by: Patricia J. Wuensche at Jun 1, 2004 10:51:36 AM

SEMPER FI, MATE.

Posted by: Joe Heath at Sep 8, 2004 10:49:10 PM

Ashamed that the press doesn't honor him as he should be,
Embarrased by what a few have done wrong,
And Damm proud of Corp. Dunham and our Marines!

To his family,
I want to thank you for raising such a wonderful man to serve his country and who took such pride in what he did and his countrymen. My brother was a Marine in the Vietnam War and he too reinlisted so that he could fight in Nam. I was in the 4th grade when he left to go. But I was lucky because he DID come home. Of course he was missing a body part and has some memories he still won't talk about.
Thank you just isn't good enough! Words just can't express the proud feeling I have and know that there are others like him protecting us! God Bless and protect our troups! Semper Fi
PS> You need a box of kleenex, one just won't do it!

Posted by: Sandy at Sep 29, 2004 1:10:28 PM

My humble attempt of showing tribute....

http://www.geocities.com/fred_bear3/Iraqi_Freedom_Tribute.html?1082145373965

Posted by: Brian at Oct 14, 2004 7:08:37 AM

This was hard for me to read. As has been said, "Where do we find such men".

Posted by: Johanna at Jun 1, 2005 9:57:53 AM

I am proud to have read the Gift of Valor and to know Cpl. Jason Dunham through this reading. My heart mourns his family's loss and I truly believe that Jason is with his Lord and Savior and watching over all his fellow Marines. My son was honorably discharged from the Marine Corp. in 2000. I am proud of him for the time he devoted to the Corp. in the Infantry and I am truly thankful that he was not faced with making the decision that Jason made on April 14, 2004. Cpl. Jason Dunham deserves the Medal of Honor and the gratitude of every person enjoying their freedom today.

Posted by: Linda M. Rector at Jan 23, 2006 12:26:48 PM

Of course it says something else that the author of the piece isn't aware that one MoH has already been awarded for service in Iraq:

http://www.sptimes.com/2005/02/02/Tampabay/Iraq_hero_joins_hallo.shtml

That didn't get a lot of coverage at the time either...

Posted by: Scott at May 8, 2006 10:55:40 AM