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The Boys Next Door: Medal of Honor Recipients in the War in Iraq

Suggested Level

Suggested Applications

Middle and High School History

Objectives
Students will:
• Explain the "everyday" appearance of the most recent Medal of Honor recipients.
• Explain the relevance of the Medal of Honor in today’s society.
• Investigate the age of the average American service member and its proximity to the age of high school students.
• Explain the meaning of “ordinary people who do extraordinary things” using the examples of Jason L. Dunham,
  Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, and Paul R. Smith, Sergeant 1st Class, U.S. Army.


Medal of Honor Focus:
Jason L. Dunham, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, 4th Platoon, Co. K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment,
   1st Marine Division / War in Iraq

Paul Ray Smith, Sergeant 1st Class, U.S. Army, Co. B,11th Engineer Battalion / War in Iraq


Introductory Activity:
Discuss the average age of American service members in the various wars of the 20th/21st century.
Point out that the average is within five years of the age of a graduating senior. Ask students to write
five to seven lines about persons in their school who would most likely fight in a war and distinguish
themselves as Medal of Honor recipients.

Whole Group Activity:
Students will view the “Battlescape” feature describing the valorous actions of Sergeant 1st Class Paul
R. Smith using Internet access at www.army.mil/medalofhonor/smith and discuss the images and
reflections of his family and friends on this web page.

View the family album at www.sptimes.com/2004/webspecials04/medalofhonor/ and discuss the images
and reflections of his family and friends on this web page.

Small Group/Individual Activity:
Have students access a profile at militarytimes.com to learn about the valorous actions of Cpl. Jason L. Dunham.

While viewing the various pages of this website, students will make a list of values that make
Cpl. Dunham the "boy next door" and a second list of personality traits that most would feel admirable.

Concluding Activity:
The whole group will discuss their lists and reflect on the possibility that one of them, or someone
they know, could ever be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Assessment:
Reflection, discussion, informal questioning

Resources:
Internet access, LCD projector

Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty. NY: Artisan, 2006.

Extended Activity:
Students can research other recipients of the Medal of Honor during the War in Iraq
and the War in Afghanistan.

• Salvatore Giunta, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne),
      503d Infantry Regiment / War in Afghanistan


See the website http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/giunta/profile.html for a video and more
information about Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta.

• Dakota Meyer, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Embedded Training Team 2-8,
      Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7 / War in Afghanistan


See the website www.msnbc.com/id/44523883/ns/us-news-life/t/marine-who-saved-dozens-receivesmedal-honor
for the video of President Barack Obama bestowing the Medal of Honor to Sgt. Dakota Meyer.

• Leroy A. Petry, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 2d Battalion,
     75th Ranger Regiment / War in Afghanistan


See the website https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/07/12/remarks-president-presenting-medal-honor-sergeant-first-class-leroy-arth
for video and the complete text of President Barack Obama bestowing the Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Leroy A. Petry.

• Clinton L. Romesha, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment,
     4th Infantry Division, 4th Brigade Combat Team / War in Afghanistan

See the websites http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/romesha/narrative.html and http://www.cmohs.org/
for more information about Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha.

Recipients who received the Medal of Honor posthumously for the War in Iraq and the War in Afghanistan:

• Ross A. McGinnis, U.S. Army, Private First Class, Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment / War in Iraq
• Robert J. Miller, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3312,
     Special Operations Task Force 33 / War in Afghanistan
• Michael A. Monsoor, Petty Officer 2nd Class, U.S. Navy, SEAL Team 3 / War in Iraq
• Jared C. Monti, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, Headquarters Company, 3d Squadron,
     71st Cavalry Regiment, 3d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division / War in Afghanistan
• Michael P. Murphy, Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, ALFA Platoon, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1 / War in Afghanistan


See the website http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-archive.php for more information about these Medal of Honor recipients,
as well as Jason L. Dunham and Paul Ray Smith who are featured in the lesson The Boys Next Door: Medal of Honor Recipients in the War in Iraq.