YARDLEY, PA, USA U.S. Army SGT, COMPANY A, 1ST BATTALION, 15TH INFANTRY, FORT BENNING, GA SALMAN PAK, IRAQ 05/14/2007
“The one thing I believe in, above all else is love,” reads a statement written by Dunckley on his Myspace Web page. “I love my savior, my family, my freedom and my friends. Most people view love as a word or emotion, I view love as an act of commitment.
“My act of love is my service in the military protecting and preserving all the things I believe in most, so that my children, family, and friends can enjoy true freedom. I’ve seen war first hand, and have met people that have never known any of the freedoms we take for granted and I never want that for the people I care for most…Semper Fi…”
The “Semper Fi” harkens back to his life in the Marines, a part of himself family members say never left him, despite his move to a career in the Army.
A comment left by his wife, Jennifer Lynn, on the same Myspace page, about two months before his death, seemed even more poignant in light of Dunckley’s fate.
“Hey baby, missing the hell out of you,” the stateside wife wrote in a comment to her husband. “Don’t play hero, you already are one to all of us, just get some, and get your ass home.”
Also left behind for Dunckley are his parents, Mae and Allen J. Dunckley. The elder Dunckley, spoke about his son, who was known more widely by his middle name, James, from his home in Glassboro, Gloucester County last night.
“He was a soldier and he was a patriot,” Dunckley said. His son always had an interest in karate and self-defense growing up, but it took a terrorist attack to make him think of defending something larger than himself. “When 911 hit, that really upset him,” he explained. “He was very patriotic and he didn’t take kindly to his country being attacked.” By January 2002, Dunckley said his son was a Marine on a mission to defend his country.
Dunckley attained the rank of sergeant and was eventually sent to Iraq.
“He came back from that,” his father said. “The Lord spared him at that time.”
Upon his return to the U.S., Dunckley started a family. He married Jennifer Lynn who gave birth to Joshua and Hannah.
Soon, his time in the Marines was up and he returned to civilian life. But his father said he still felt he had unfinished business with the service.
“He hadn’t given up on the military,” he said. “His heart was still there. He felt that he needed to go back into the military. He felt it was what God wanted him to do.” Dunckley said that although he was most recently serving in the Army, James would be ultimately remembered as a Marine.
“He was always a Marine,” he said. “He requested that if anything happened that he would be buried in his Marine uniform.” In the end, Dunckley should be missed by his country, and will be mourned by those he was closest too.
“I will miss you dearly my love,” reads another post from his wife on his Myspace page. “But I know you died doing what you loved, and you are a hero to everyone here, and left us all touched greatly by your wisdom and love. You will continue to be my strength, and I will continue to make you proud, until we meet again one day.”