Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Marine Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter.
Marine Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter
Died April 22, 2008 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
19, of Sag Harbor, N.Y.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died April 22 of wounds sustained while conducting combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq. Also killed was Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale.
Marine Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter remembered
In his senior year yearbook, Jordan C. Haerter’s favorite movie was “Black Hawk Down” and his ambitions included “become a good Marine and successful in life.”
“I know everyone says it when this happens, but he was a nice kid,” said Ronn Pirrelli, who coached Haerter in Little League. “Some kids come and go. He was one of those kids you don’t forget.”
Haerter, 19, of Sag Harbor, N.Y., was killed April 22 by a suicide car bomb in Ramadi. He was a 2006 high school graduate and was assigned to Camp Lejeune.
Haerter enjoyed waging paintball battles and driving his beloved Dodge pickup truck on the beach. “He was a great, great kid,” said Principal Jeff Nichols. “He was really well-liked. It’s just very sad.”
His father, Christian Haerter, said his son was always a hands-on type of guy who preferred to be out in the real world working, “getting your hands dirty,” rather than in a classroom. “It’s not that he was disillusioned with school, he was very good in school,” said his dad. “But he liked the whole concept of apprenticeship.”
He also is survived by his mother, JoAnn Lyles.
Six Seconds Of Iraq Valor Saved Dozens
Six seconds. That’s all it took to turn a quiet Iraqi street into a moment both horrific and heroic.
Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter and Cpl. Jonathan Yale died so others would live. “You’re talking about two guys who gave up everything for their brothers,” Staff Sgt. Kenneth Grooms said.
They were Marine brothers from very different worlds. Yale’s was hard-scrabble Virginia. From a troubled home, he hungered to belong. “He touched your heart as soon as you met him,” said Rev. Leon Burchett, who took Yale in. “He never had a whole lot, but he was thankful for what he did have.”
On Long Island, New York, Jordan Haerter grew from middle-class toy soldier into mature Marine. “He had your back, without a shadow of a doubt,” said Grooms.
Last April, Yale and Haerter were guarding the entry to their platoon’s camp in Ramadi. Standing here, out of sight. It was 7:30 in the morning. They had just met. Suddenly a suicide truck appeared. It contained 2,000 pounds of explosives, heading toward them – and dozens of sleeping Marines. “That’s like staring at the biggest, ugliest thing you could … and standing there,” said Lance Cpl. Nicholas Xiarhos, a fellow Marine.
The Marines shot at the driver, killing him. But then the truck erupted – its force ending a videotape of the event. It was so powerful, the blast leveled a city block. Yale was dead. Haerter was dying. But everyone else nearby – Marines and Iraqis – survived. “And they made a heroic choice,” Grooms said. “And it ended up saving, you know, 50 people.”
Even by Marine standards, the heroism was extraordinary. The top Marine general in Iraq personally interviewed Iraqi witnesses, then nominated the two Marines for the Navy Cross. “They made a lot of decisions in those six seconds,” Maj. Gen John Kelly said. “And one of them was to die.” The tape showed an Iraqi policeman ran. He lived.
Kelly said: “They wouldn’t have stood there and done that unless they were Marines, all the way to their DNA.” Haerter had a hometown hero’s return on Long Island – like Yale in Virginia. Friday at the Marine museum in Virginia, the families of Hoerter and Yale got their Navy crosses. “None of us will ever be able to know or experience that split-second brotherhood,” Grooms said.
They started the day strangers. Their shared valor made them brothers forever.