Thursday, February 12, 2009

Navy Crosses to be Presented to Families at Museum

The families Lance Cpl Jordan Haerter and Cpl Jonathan Yale will posthumously accept the Navy Cross medals on behalf of their two sons who were killed in action in Iraq in 2008. The ceremony is to be held on Friday, February 20th (next week) in Leatherneck gallery.

The Navy Cross is the second highest medal for valor that can be awarded to a sailor or Marine.

The following was part of the news release from the Public Affairs office of the 2nd Marine Division.

Haerter and Yale were infantrymen assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, serving with 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, and 2nd Bn., 8th Marines, respectively, and were killed in action while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.


The morning of April 22, 2008, according to Haerter and Yale’s personal award recommendations, a truck began to rapidly negotiate the obstacles leading to an entry control point in Ramadi, Iraq, where Haerter and Yale were standing post. The two Marines quickly recognized the threat a suicide bomber driving a truck capable of carrying a large quantity of explosives posed to the Marines and Iraqi policemen in the area and engaged the truck with precise fire. As a result of their actions, the truck stopped a few feet from their positions and the suicide bomber detonated the approximately 2,000 pounds of explosives in the truck, leveling the entry control point and mortally wounding the two Marines.

When I give tours at the museum, I have been telling this story after I tell the story about the Beirut Marines. Besides it being Marines in both cases, the make and model of truck the suicide bomber in Iraq drove was the same make and model driven by the suicide bomber in Beirut.
The theme I have been trying to weave through my stories is how Marines know they can count on each other. They do the things that they do because they know there are other Marines counting on them. Indirectly, they do what they do because there are civilians counting on them too.


The action of these two young Marines was captured in detail on security camera video. There was no question that they didn't hesitate to stand their ground. The video also shows the earlier lines of defense, manned by Iraqi's, running from their posts to save themselves. In fact, after the attack, General Kelly came to survey the damage along with his Iraqi counterpart. The Iraqi General asked General Kelly why his Marines didn't run, after all, his men ran and are still alive.

General Kelly responded, “They couldn't run, there were other Marines counting on them.” These two Marines were all that stood between 2000 pounds of fire and destruction and 50 other Marines manning the security post building. Had these two Marines run, there would have been 50 families mourning the lives of their lost sons. It really takes a special person to be able to stand up and face death, unflinchingly. Thank God for men such as these.

The ceremony will begin at 1100. I won't be able to bring you guys coverage like I had for Jason Dunham's Medal of Honor ceremony because I will be at work. Keep the families of these men in your prayers as it will surely be an emotional day for them. Also, keep those that visit the museum in your prayers too, I find that God brings people together for events such as these for special reasons, be it to inspire, or to allow someone else to reach closure on their own loss.

4 comments:

Christian Haerter said...

I am the father of Marine LCpl Jordan Haerter. I truly appreciate the fact that as a volunteer you are telling Jordan and Jonathan's story regarding the events of April 22nd, 2008 and the tremendous valor they both displayed that day. I'm sure that Jordan would be humbled by the honor being afforded to him at the Museum next week by the USMC. We will accept his award of the Navy Cross knowing full well the measure of commitment,courage, and blood that every American warrior, in every branch of service, has given and still gives to allow us the freedoms which we enjoy every day. Our hearts are with our veterans and with those brave men and women currently deployed....

Semper Fidelis
Christian Haerter
Sag Harbor, New York

Wendylicious said...

What an awesome story and a true epitimy of what our Marines stand for.
Thank you for sharing it, because God knows our liberal media sure isn't going to bring us news like this.
Hugs,
Wendy

23rd of October said...

When I give tours at the museum, I have been telling this story after I tell the story about the Beirut Marines. Besides it being Marines in both cases, the make and model of truck the suicide bomber in Iraq drove was the same make and model driven by the suicide bomber in Beirut.
The theme I have been trying to weave through my stories is how Marines know they can count on each other. They do the things that they do because they know there are other Marines counting on them. Indirectly, they do what they do because there are civilians counting on them too.


Thank you for the wonderful comments, thanks again for keeping the memory of the Beirut Marines alive. The story of the Navy Cross is inspirational to all of us who served in Beirut.

Semper Fi!
Cliff Walling
Beirut Veterans of America

JoAnn said...

Thank you for sharing the story of bravery of Cpl Jonathan T. Yale and LCpl Jordan C. Haerter at a checkpoint in Ramadi,Iraq on 22 April, 2008. All Marines will stand tall and proud on February 20when the Navy Cross is presented posthumously to Jordan and Jonathan, their brothers. I will forever be heartbroken that Jordan is gone but find some comfort knowing he was there, chosen for a reason.
a Heartfelt thank you,
JoAnn Lyles
Sag Harbor, NY
Forever proud Mom
of LCpl Jordan C. Haerter
www.jordanhaerter.com