Raise your Beer, Toast A Hero: Jonathan Gifford

Gunnery Sergeant Jonathan W. Gifford was born on August 11th 1977 and joined the United States Marines Corps in 1997. Jon earned the title of Reconnaissance Marine, was a member of the Corps’ Force Recon community, and later joined MARSOC as a Critical Skills Operator. 

During a morning patrol on July 29, 2012 near the town of Bala Bokan, GySgt Gifford saw three of the Afghan Special Operations Commandos he was advising hit by enemy small arms fire. Immediately, he got behind the wheel of an all­-terrain vehicle and roared across 800 meters of ground unprotected to come to the aid of the wounded Commandos.

With the help of another Marine, he performed first aid on the Afghan soldiers and moved them to a landing zone so a helicopter could extract them for medical care. Then, he crossed back over the same open terrain to help the other Afghan Commandos in the unit, who were now under enemy fire.

During the attack he led, he took out an insurgent who was firing from a window. He then climbed a building housing enemy fighters and dropped a grenade down the chimney to eliminate the threat. GySgt Gifford continued to push the fight until he fell mortally wounded by enemy fire. Also lost was GySgt Dan Price, a fellow warrior and MARSOC brother.

Jon’s heroic actions on the battlefield that day earned him the Navy Cross (posthumously). The Navy Cross is the second-highest military decoration for valor, second only to the Medal of Honor.

Not only was Jon Gifford a hero on the battlefield, he was also a hero at home as a loving husband and father of five boys.

The Gifford family has chosen to support the Brothers in Arms Foundation with a grant made by the Dog Tag Brewing Foundation in honor of Jon.

The Brothers in Arms Foundation is a remarkable organization which provides financial and logistical support to immediate family members of Marines and Fleet Marine Force Corpsman who have been critically wounded, or fallen while serving within the Special Operations Community of The United States Marine Corps.

GySgt Gifford answered our nation's call, serving on five combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan before giving his life in the service of others.

Here's to you, Jonathan Gifford! 

Thank you for your service to our grateful nation. 

Semper Fidelis!



Dog Tag Brewing Foundation is a Veteran-run nonprofit that partners with Gold Star Families to celebrate the lives of our nation's Fallen Warriors.

Interested in contributing to the Foundation's mission of supporting and enhancing Gold Star Family initiatives? Please take a moment and visit our Call to Action Page. Your support matters!