Sunday, July 21, 2013

Two Marines who made a decision to die!

In the name of Courage, Honor and Commitment!

Yesterday I had the honor of participating in a Wounded Warrior Project 30-mile ride to help raise money for U.S. military veterans who have made huge sacrifices protecting the way of life that many, if not most of us, take for granted on a day to day basis.

The event on Long Island, New York was dedicated to the memory of Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter!

Lance Corporal Haerter along with Corporal Jonathan Yale were stationed in Ramadi, Iraq and together, as Marines, made the decision to die saving others.

Before looking at the story of these heroes, however, I feel that first I must in some way compare the bravery and dedication of our Wounded Warriors and the courage of these two Marines in the face of near certain death to our Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama! I simply cannot avoid it.

The US embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya!

The antithesis to the honor and courage shown by our soldiers are the actions of Barack Obama and the rest of his administration when it came to the protection of the people at the Benghazi embassy that has been compounded in its aftermath by the cover-up of what it was that happened both there and in Washington as the attack was taking place.

More importantly, however, might be what didn't happen!

Flashback to December 2012, months after the deaths of four Americans at our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, when the world was witness to an administration more interested in cover-up than in getting to the truth.

A time on September 11, 2012 when the '3:00 AM call' came to the White House and Barack Obama let it ring and go to voicemail! These were my thoughts back in January 2013 and they have not changed since.

The killing of Americans in Benghazi has not been avenged and the reasons behind why it was allowed to occur the way that it did has not been adequately explained and yet, it is basically out of the news.

This decision by omission of a failure to retaliate for these deaths and for the attack on US sovereign territory has emboldened al-Qaeda to execute the attack on the installation in Algeria where Americans were killed.

Serious consequences indeed yet remember that Barack Obama is the non-consequential President who has been able, with the help of the media deciding not to cover it, to hit and run to the next issue!

For Barack Obama the next issue, if he can help it, will always be a game of domestic politics combined with his lack of presidential leadership that has ultimately led the people of the United States to where we sit today. (Source)

At some point, hopefully in the not to distant future, we will finally get to the truth!

Lance Corporal Haerter and Corporal Jonathan Yale in Ramadi, Iraq

But enough of that.

Let's instead look at the story of courage, commitment, honor, dedication and love of country that is the story of Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter and Corporal Jonathan T. Yale.

Two Marines who stood side by side in an alleyway in Ramadi, Iraq with video that bears witness to the final six seconds of their lives.

On April 22, 2008, United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal Jordan Christian Haerter was killed in action in Ramadi, Iraq. At 19 years of age, Jordan was deployed to a Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia district of Ramadi, which at one point was the center of insurgency in that city. The 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines were in the process of turning over this Joint Security Station to the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. Jordan, a member of the fiercely proud and storied 1st Battalion, 9th Marines also known as 'The Walking Dead', and fellow marine, Corporal Jonathan T. Yale, a rifleman with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, were standing guard at an Entry Control Point. At 0745, a large truck accelerated towards the Entry Control Point, careening off the protective serpentine, ignoring all signals and flares warning the driver to stop. When the truck failed to stop, Jordan and Cpl. Yale opened fire until the 2,000lb blast claimed their lives.

"I was on post the morning of the attack," said Lance Cpl. Benjamin Tupaj, a rifleman with 3rd Platoon, Police Transition Team 3, Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, with a hurtful tone in his voice. "I heard the (squad automatic weapon) go off at a cyclic rate and then the detonation along with a flash. It blew me at least 3 meters from where I was standing onto the ground. Then I heard a Marine start yelling 'we got hit, we got hit.' It was hectic."

Because of the valiant effort by Jordan and Cpl. Yale, the truck bomber did not make it as far as the post they were protecting, therefore saving the 33 Marines and numerous police inside of the Joint Security Station and several civilians within proximity to the station. According to Major General John F. Kelly, “I spoke to several Iraqi police eyewitness and they all told the same story, but one more emotionally than the others. He said no sane man would have stood there directly in the path of a speeding truck firing their weapons—yet two did. His officers, some as close as ten feet initially from the Marines, fired and ran when it was obvious the truck could not be stopped—and they survived. The Marines stood their ground and stopped the truck before it detonated, and saved the lives of their buddies.” An official after-action report says the two acted without hesitation or concern for their own lives and saved the lives of 33 Marines and 21 Iraqi police inside the compound: “Recognizing the danger to their fellow Marines and partnered Iraqi police, Cpl. Yale and Lance Cpl. Haerter fearlessly gave their lives in their defense.”

Jordan and Cpl. Yale were each posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal and Combat Action Ribbon, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Iraqi Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the Navy Cross. Jordan was posthumously presented with a Southampton Town Police Department Badge and a Sag Harbor Police Department Gold Badge.

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