Task & Purpose photo by James Clark

At a back room in a plain building in Quantico, Virginia, in wall lockers and cardboard boxes stacked neatly on top are artifacts from past wars. On a table at the rear of the room sits a number of items and personal effects belonging to Marines who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. There’s a bloodstained Kevlar helmet, worn by Lt. Col. Ty Edwards, who survived a headshot in Afghanistan during an ambush in 2008, as well as a woodland blouse and a pair of dog tags belonging to Medal of Honor recipient Jason Dunham. Dunham was killed in Iraq in 2004 after he leapt atop a hand grenade, giving his life to save two other Marines.

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Department of Defense photo via Wikimedia Commons/Task & Purpose photo illustration by Matt Battaglia

On April 14, 2004, Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, a squad leader with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, was leading his men on a mission near Karabilah, Iraq. A call came through that the battalion commander’s convoy was under attack by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. Hopping into Humvees, the Marines made their way toward Camp Husaybah, two kilometers away.

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