Michael M. Phillips, author of The Gift of Valor and a staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal, has done four tours in Iraq with 3/7, the Third Battalion, Seventh Marines. The Gift of Valor is the story of Medal of Honor recipient Jason Dunham, a 3/7 Marine corporal from upstate New York, who threw himself on a grenade to save fellow Marines during a firefight in western Iraq, and of his long journey home to die in the presence of his grief-stricken parents.
Mr. Phillips has been involved with MarineParents.com since his first tour of Iraq with the 3/7. Each time he returned from Iraq, he shared hundreds of photos with our families. He was a guest speaker during the 2006 MarineParents.com conference in Houston, Texas and autographed copies of his books for families in attendance.
November 10, 2006: President Bush announced that the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration, will be awarded posthumously to Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham.
From the Author: We (Marine families at MarineParents.com and the author) have been in touch at some point over the few years I have spent periodically embedded with the Marines in Iraq. I was a speaker at the MarineParents.com conference in Houston in April 2004. Many of you contacted me after I wrote an article in The Wall Street Journal last year about Corporal Jason Dunham of Kilo Co., Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, who placed his helmet on an Iraqi hand grenade to save his buddies and paid the ultimate price. His fellow Marines honored his sacrifice by nominating him for the Congressional Medal of Honor. After that piece ran in the paper, I continued to research Corporal Dunhamís story and wrote The Gift of Valor: A War Story that details not only what happened that confused, bloody day in April 2004, but also describes his eight-day journey home to his family, from Husaybah to Bethesda.
It is not a book about the politics of the Iraq War; it is, I hope, a vivid, in-the-dirt depiction of what it means to be a grunt. It is the story of the Marine infantrymen, the sailors and soldiers who fight alongside them, and of those who wait for them to return.
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