USS Jason Dunham Commissioned
(November 17, 2010)
|PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. (NNS- Nov. 13, 2010) -- The Navy
commissioned its newest Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS
Jason Dunham (DDG-109) during a ceremony in Port Evergglades,
Fla. Nov. 13.
The ship's commissioning ceremony paid homage to
its namesake, Cpl. Jason Dunham, who selflessly
sacrificed his life at age 22 in Iraq, April 14,
Dunham used his Kevlar helmet to cover a grenade
which resulted with saving the lives of two of
his fellow Marines during combat.
"I am delighted to attend my first commissioning
as Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, for a
ship named after a true hero," said Gen. James
Former President George W. Bush posthumously
awarded Cpl. Dunham the Medal of Honor. Dunham
is the first Marine to be awarded the medal for
Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the first
Thousands were in
attendance at the USS Jason Dunham commissioning
ceremony. The Navy's newest guided-missile
destroyer was commissioned at Port Everglades,
Fort Lauderdale, November 13, 2010. Photo by
USMC Sgt. Jimmy D. Shea
Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.
"The timing of this event could not have been better," said
Amos. "I think it's fitting that we commission this ship,
named after a Marine just three days after Nov. 10, a
birthday shared by both Jason Dunham and the Marine Corps,
and just two days after Veteran's Day when we honor all
military members both present and past."|
The pier welcomed more than 5,000 guests and supporters
including family members of the crew and the Dunham family.
"I have military family, and I have a personal family," said
Cpl. Dunham's mother, Deb Dunham. "The kindness, the
generosity, and the strength that they have given Dan and I
and the children has kept us going. The process has been a
journey that I hadn't anticipated, but it's a ride I
wouldn't miss. I have words for Jason later. I don't quite
know what I'm going to say, but I have words."
Maj. Trent Gibson, Dunham's officer in charge, expressed his
feelings about a ship being named in Dunham's honor.
"I think it's an indescribable honor," said Gibson, "The
fact that his name is on a ship is going to perpetuate and
inspire future generations of American sons and daughters of
that impact. His name is already legendary in the Marine
Corps, but to extend it to the Navy is truly special.
Since arriving in Port Everglades Nov. 5, the crew has
volunteered for various community service projects
throughout the week including visits to Joe DiMaggio
Children's Hospital, performing work on a Habitat for
Humanity project, preparing meals for Feeding Florida, and
visiting local schools.
"I am deeply proud and honored to stand here today to
represent my Sailors; by far the greatest and most special
group of men and woman that I have worked with in my entire
19-year career," said Cmdr. Scott Sciretta, USS Jason Dunham
Sciretta thanked everyone involved in planning the
commissioning ceremony, the city of Fort Lauderdale for its
hospitality and also Bath Iron Works who built the ship.
"Our ship and crew has much to be grateful for today," said
Sciretta. "We are grateful to our commissioning committee,
local Navy League councils and our Broward Navy team
partners for organizing this week's events for our crew. Our
heartfelt thanks to your city for making us feel like
Port Everglades, Fla.
(Nov. 5, 2010) - The Arleigh Burke-class
guided-missile destroyer Pre-Commissioning Unit
(PCU) Jason Dunham (DDG 109) enters Port
Everglades Harbor to prepare for a commissioning
ceremony Nov. 13, 2010. U.S. Navy photo by Mass
Communication Specialist 3rd Class Desiree Green
also offered thanks to Gibson who he deemed a "true
brother". He then turned to Deb and Dan Dunham to express
his love and appreciation for them, and the friendship that
they had built through this experience.
"Deb and Dan, the past two years have been the most
incredible journey of my naval career, having the distinct
honor and privilege to spend so much personal time with you
is beyond words," said Sciretta. "You are two of the most
loving, caring, and giving people I have ever met. You are
an example for every parent in our great nation, thank you
from the bottom of our hearts for being who you are, for
teaching us about love and life, and for the great sacrifice
your son made for this nation."
The commissioning ceremony came to a close with Sciretta
asking Deb Dunham to bring the ship to life. Dunham, stood
poised and proudly addressed the crew.
"Crew of the USS Jason Dunham," she said, "man the rails."
And with that, the Navy welcomed its newest destroyer.
By Navy MCS 3rd Class Desiree Green
USS Jason Dunham Public Affairs
Navy News Service
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