You've seen or read little or nothing about Cpl. Jonathan Yale and Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter. If our media were not so biased, these two heroes would be household names. Each received the Navy Cross -- posthumously.
In six seconds, the two Marine grunts offered their lives, and prevented a massacre of dozens of Marines and Iraqis in Ramadi.
Haerter had volunteered to watch the main gate [of Joint Security Station Nasser in Ramadi], even though it was considered the most hazardous of the compound's three guard stations because it could be approached from a busy thoroughfare.
The sun had barely risen when the two sentries spotted a 20-foot-long truck headed toward the gate, weaving with increasing speed through the concrete barriers. Two Iraqi police officers assigned to the gate ran for their lives. So did several Iraqi police on the adjacent street.
Yale and Haerter tried to wave off the truck, but it kept coming. They opened fire, Yale with a machine gun, Haerter with an M-16. Their bullets peppered the radiator and windshield. The truck slowed but kept rolling.
A few dozen feet from the gate, the truck exploded. Investigators found that it was loaded with 2,000 pounds of explosives and that its driver, his hand on a "dead-man switch," was determined to commit suicide and slaughter Marines and Iraqi police.
The thunderous explosion rocked much of Ramadi, interrupting the morning call to prayers from the many mosques. A nearby mosque and a home were flattened. The blast ripped a crater 5 feet deep and 20 feet across into the street.
Shards of concrete scattered everywhere, and choking dust filled the air.
Haerter was dead; Yale was dying.
Without them we'd still be hearing about the massacre... and the tide of the war would have been turned against us. Two men. Heroes to remember.
Only the Medal of Honor is higher than the Navy Cross. To date 27 Navy Crosses have been awarded in the Global War on Terror.
Did you know that?
An America that ignores or forgets those who defend her with their lives cannot survive.
Jordan was a high school student of mine and I was surprised to see him back at home the Christmas following his graduation, in uniform; he was a quiet kid, but showed a maturity that was beyond his years. I never knew he had enlisted, but in choosing the Corps, it fit with what I saw in him- he always liked a challenge, whether it was in class and he always wanted to be the best he could be. He was a credit to his family, school and country.
Thank you for making his heroism known across the land. I truly feel that he is worthy of the CMH, but I know that if he were here with us, he wouldn't be seeking the honor- his modesty was not an act-he would have said that he was just doing his job.
Southampton, NYUpdate II:
American Thinker writer, and Sag Harbor resident, Otis A. Glazebrook wrote this letter to the editor of a local paper on May 3, 2008 for Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter's funeral:
Until last Sunday, I had never met the Haerter Family, although our paths may have crossed many times. Such is small town life in the Twenty-First Century. I would give anything not to have met them under such circumstances.
Although, I never met Jordan while he was alive, I love and admire him because he represents the very best of what it means to be an American.
Being a Marine was a goal he set for himself knowing full well the consequences. After all, in his words, “It’s what Marines do”.
Because it is difficult and there can be no higher personal cost.
Reverend Howarth asked what seems to be the perennial question at an untimely passing such as Jordan’s: “How could a loving and righteous God allow such tragedies to happen?”
My answer to that question is two-fold:
If one believes in Christ and the Resurrection; has He inflicted any more pain on humanity than he was willing to suffer Himself?
The second part of my answer is what photographers call “depth of field” or contrast. It may be His way of showing us through the obvious pain of Jordan’s passing just how much we have been given.
It is my humble opinion that the incredible group of men who assembled in Philadelphia in the last quarter of the Eighteenth Century produced a Set of Documents which set forth a Revolution, an ideal and a method of governance so unique it has not been duplicated or equaled. A Constitution so profound that, although God is not mentioned, who can deny that His hand is all through it? The “Founders” produced a miracle for humanity, which has only been surpassed by the Resurrection.
A large part of that miracle is that America has always produced men of such extraordinary quality and character as Jordan, who willingly put their lives at risk, so that the rest of us may enjoy the simple proposition of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.
With Thanks from a Grateful American
Semper Fi – Jordan
Rest in Peace.