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Old 04-25-2008, 05:57 PM
GyBill GyBill is offline
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L/Cpl Jordan C. Haerter USMC, 19, Sag Harbor, NY (Iraq)

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter, 19, of Sag Harbor, N.Y.

Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale, 21, of Burkeville, Va.

Both Marines died April 22 from wounds suffered while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. Haerter was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. Yale was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Media with questions about these Marines can contact the 2nd Marine Division public affairs office at (910) 450-6575.

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Old 04-26-2008, 03:15 PM
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The War Hits Home
Pierson Graduate Killed In Iraq
By John Bayles

PLEASE SEE UPDATED ARRANGEMENTS AT END OF STORY.

Jordan Haerter, a 19-year-old 2006 Pierson graduate, died at roughly 7:30 a.m. Iraqi time, Tuesday, while serving at a military checkpoint outside the city of Ramadi, the capital of the Sunni Anbar province. Haerter was a U.S. Marine and had just reached the one-month mark of his first tour in the war-torn country.

On Tuesday night Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot began the town board meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and afterward asked everyone to remain standing. She informed the audience that she had just found out that Jordan, a Sag Harbor resident, had been killed in Iraq.

"That's all I know," she said.

Jordan's parents, Christian Haerter and Jo Ann Lyles knew much more. They knew their son, their only child, had made the ultimate sacrifice, risking his life in the name of his country. Haerter and another Marine were the victims of a suicide bombing when a water truck loaded with explosives drove into the checkpoint they were guarding and detonated. The other Marine also died and three other Marines were reported wounded.

His mother said on Wednesday, through tears, "I am just so proud of him."

She received a letter from Jordan on Monday. She said in the letter her son "talked about the future and said he had decided he wanted to become a Sag Harbor police officer."

Haerter was a beloved son, grandson and friend. His United States History teacher at Pierson, Jim Sloan, still remembers Jordan's smiling face.

"He sat right up front, and he always had that smile on his face," said Sloan. "He was a great kid and he was very good to other people."

Jordan decided to go into the military in his senior year at Pierson. In the 2006 Pierson yearbook, where the seniors list their favorite movies and their ambitions, it was clear the then 17-year-old, knew what he wanted to do. His favorite movie was "Black Hawk Down" and his ambitions included "become a good Marine and successful in life."

Pierson Assistant Principal Donnelly McGovern taught Haerter when he was in eighth grade and said the young man had a very "strong work ethic" and "was very intelligent." McGovern grew closer to Haerter during after school intramural workouts in the Pierson gym.

"I saw over the years, his maturity and his demeanor change. It was pleasant to be around him," said McGovern. "He was more than just a good student, he was a great person, a good friend. He cared about himself, and more so, he cared about others."

Jordan's father was surprised when his son chose the Marines. "I thought it would be Air Force," he said.

Jordan took up flying when he was 13 years old and had a solo-flight under his belt by the time he was 16.

Andrew Mayer, another 2006 Pierson graduate grew up with Haerter and the two were best friends. Mayer is now attending SUNY Maritime and heard the news Tuesday before he was to take a final exam.

"I was stunned," he said. "I didn't know what to think. I didn't believe it at first."

The last time Mayer spoke to his friend was just before Jordan left to go to the Middle East.

"He seemed happy and what not. He was ready to go and he was looking forward to it," said Mayer who noted that neither of them really talked about going into the military when they were young. They did however play a game Mayer called "keep watch."

"When I'd sleep over, we'd sleep in the tent behind his house," said Mayer, "and we'd take turns standing watch and protecting the tent while the other person was asleep." Mayer said the two kids were "basically playing military then."

Adjutant Bruce Winchell of the Sag Harbor American Legion said on Wednesday that Haerter was the first Sag Harbor resident killed in action since World War II.

"Several were wounded in Vietnam, but no one was killed. Nor in Korea to the best of my knowledge," said Winchell. "This is tragic."

In an interview one week before his son's death, Christian Haerter told how he tried to ensure that even in Iraq, his son would have a little piece of the East End with him at all times. Prior to Jordan shipping out, his father wandered around the village and took pictures of places where his son would hang out, like Conca Doro and Long Wharf. He took pictures of boats in the harbor. He cut out images such as the Montauk Lighthouse from postcards.

"I took them and I laminated them on to a credit card size piece of plastic," said his father. "So he could take it around with him."

His father also took a picture of Jordan's "beloved Dodge pickup truck."

A few days before Jordan was to leave, his father flew down to North Carolina, to Camp Lejeune where his son had been stationed since boot camp. He was "entrusted" to drive Jordan's truck back to Sag Harbor.

"He loved that truck," said his dad. "It was a big black Dodge with, what do you call them, headers? He got it while he was in the Marines and he wanted to keep it until the bitter end. It was easier for me to pick it up than for him to store it."

His father recalled what it was like when Jordan left.

"It's pretty hard. Even though you know he's going to be going, when he actually gets on the plane and goes, it's pretty emotional," his father said at the time.

Jordan was a member of the "Walking Dead," the storied First Battalion of the Ninth Marines. His mission was to train Iraqi police.

"They called them a training and transition team," said his father. "They're supposed to keep watch over them and make sure their techniques are by the book. They are trying to get to the point where the Iraqi military and police are handling everything."

Christian Haerter owns HydroTech, a water treatment company here in Sag Harbor. Jordan spent his entire life here and had never been overseas until he left for the war. His father wouldn't take credit for his son's decision to join the military. But he did say his son was always a hands-on type of guy, much like his father, 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."

Haerter said he spoke to his son more when he was in Iraq than when he was in North Carolina. His son had shipped his computer back to Sag Harbor last week so his father could try and fix it. During their conversations, Haerter said his son never said he was afraid of going to war.

"He never said he was scared or worried that something bad would happen," said Jordan's father last week. "He's really of the mind that this is a job and it's what he's been trained to do and it's why he signed up. He's confident in his abilities but he doesn't kid himself about what might happen."

Friends and family are invited to visit at Yardley and Pino Funeral Home on Sunday, April 27. Please call the funeral home from 2 to 9 p.m. Services will be at First Presbyterian "Old Whalers" Church on Monday, April 28, at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Oakland Cemetery. Times and dates are subject to change. The family asks that memorial contributions be made to Wounded Warrior Project (PO Box 1905, Amagansett, NY, 11930), the Sag Harbor LVIS (PO 2222), the Sag Harbor Volunteer Exempt Fireman's Benevolent Association (PO 2087), Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps (PO 2725) or the Sag Harbor PBA (PO 1807).

http://www.sagharboronline.com/20080424/news.htm
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:04 AM
GyBill GyBill is offline
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Sag Harbor, NY - United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal Jordan Christian Haerter, age 19, was killed in action April 22, 2008, in Ramadi, Iraq, by a suicide bomber intent on killing the 33 Marines in the compound that he was protecting. Also killed was Marine Corporal Jonathan Yale, 21.
Jordan was born July 30, 1988 in Southampton, NY. He was the the only child of, and is survived by his parents JoAnn Lyles and Christian Haerter of Sag Harbor, NY. He attended school in Sag Harbor and graduated from Pierson High School along with his beloved Class of 2006.
Jordan entered the Marine Corps directly after high school. In boot camp he earned the qualification as Platoon High Shooter in his Alpha Company. He was a member of the fiercely proud and storied 1st Battalion, 9th Marines also known as the "The Walking Dead". He has been awarded the Purple Heart for his actions in Iraq along with the Combat Action Ribbon, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
Along with his military honors, Jordan was presented with with a Southampton Town Police Department Badge, and a Sag Harbor Police Department Gold Badge.
He had a wide circle of friends in Sag Harbor who remember him for his infectious smile, quick-witted humor with dry delivery and his kind and gentle demeanor. He took flying lessons and soloed at age 16 prior to obtaining his driver's license.
He is survived by his grandparents, Oma Lilly Haerter of Sag Harbor; Grandma Eleanor Lyles and Grampa John Lyles of Fort Mill, SC. He is also survived by 15 aunts and uncles: Donna and Tom Bottle, Greene, NY; Gail and Bubi Tello, Athens, GA; Kenneth Lyles, Patchogue, NY; Karl and Candace Lyles; Rock Hill, SC, Sonja and Jon Coleman, Lansing, MI; Karin Haerter, Brooklyn, NY; Steven Haerter, Jacksonville Beach, FL; Martin and Barbara Haerter, East Northport, NY; Ursula Haerter and Michael Gamache, Tolland, CT; and 13 cousins: T.J. Bottle, Cortland, NY; Kyle Sanders, Greene, NY; Amanda Bottle, Nyack, NY; Kelly Sanders, Buffalo, NY; Emily Bottle, Greene, NY; Jennifer Tello, Newark, NJ; Katie and Anna Tello, Athens, GA; Sydney Lyles, Lexington, SC and Gretchen Simon, Rock Hill, SC. Jessica, Max and Freida Haerter; East Northport, NY.
Yardley & Pino Funeral Directors, Sag Harbor, NY, has charge of the arrangements.
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:25 AM
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This is a copy of the Article in the LA Times today about L/CPL Haerter and Cpl Yale.
Fallen Marines to be awarded Navy Cross
Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter, 19, had just arrived in Iraq.
Cpl. Jonathan Yale and Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter saved Iraqi police and fellow Marines from a truck-driving suicide bomber, Marine brass say. The April attack could have slain dozens.
By Tony Perry December 29, 2008 Reporting from San Diego --

They had known each other only a few minutes, but they will be linked forever in what Marine brass say is one of the most extraordinary acts of courage and sacrifice in the Iraq war.

Cpl. Jonathan Yale, 21, grew up poor in rural Virginia. He had joined the Marine Corps to put structure in his life and to help support his mother and sister. He was within a few days of heading home.

Related Content
Jonathan YaleLance Cpl. Jordan Haerter, 19, was from a comfortably middle-class suburb on Long Island. As a boy, he had worn military garb, and he had felt the pull of adventure and patriotism. He had just arrived in Iraq.

On April 22, the two were assigned to guard the main gate to Joint Security Station Nasser in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, once an insurgent stronghold and still a dangerous region. Dozens of Marines and Iraqi police lived at the compound, and some were still sleeping after all-night patrols when Yale and Haerter reported for duty that warm, sultry morning.

Yale, respected for his quiet, efficient manner, was assigned to show Haerter how to take over his duties.

Haerter had volunteered to watch the main gate, 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.

Three Marines about 300 feet away were injured. So were eight Iraqi police and two dozen civilians.

But several dozen other nearby Marines and Iraqi police, while shaken, were unhurt. A Black Hawk helicopter was summoned in a futile attempt to get Yale to a field hospital in time. A sheet was placed over Haerter.

When it was considered safe to take Haerter's body to a second helicopter, his section leader insisted he be covered by an American flag. "We did not want him carried out with just a sheet," said Staff Sgt. Kenneth Grooms.

Maj. Gen. John Kelly, the top Marine in Iraq, wanted to know how the attack happened. Like many veteran Marines, he is haunted by the memory of the 1983 bombing of the barracks in Beirut, when a blast from an explosives-laden truck killed 241 U.S. service personnel, including 220 Marines.

Not given to dark thoughts or insecurities, Kelly, who commanded Marines in the fight for Baghdad and Tikrit in 2003 and Fallouja in 2004, admits that the specter of another Beirut gives him nightmares as he commands the 22,000 Marines in Iraq.

He went to Ramadi to interview Iraqi witnesses -- a task generals usually delegate to subordinates.

Some Iraqis told him they were incredulous that the two Marines had not fled.

When Marine technicians restored a damaged security camera, the images were undeniable.

While Iraqi police fled, Haerter and Yale had never flinched and never stopped firing as the Mercedes truck -- the same model used in the Beirut bombing -- sped directly toward them.

Without their steadfastness, the truck would probably have penetrated the compound before it exploded, and 50 or more Marines and Iraqis would have been killed. The incident happened in just six seconds.

"No time to talk it over; no time to call the lieutenant; no time to think about their own lives or even the American and Iraqi lives they were protecting," Kelly said. "More than enough time, however, to do their duty. They never hesitated or tried to escape."

Kelly nominated the two for the Navy Cross, the second-highest award for combat bravery for Marines and sailors. Even by the standards expected of Marine "grunts," their bravery was exceptional, Kelly said.

The Haerter and Yale families will receive the medals early next year.

On the night after the bombing, Kelly wrote to each family that though he never knew its Marine, "I will remember him, and pray for him and for all those who mourn his loss, for the rest of my life."

A motorcade escorted Haerter's casket through Sag Harbor on Long Island, as residents lined the streets and wept and saluted.

Yale's casket made the 83-mile trip from the airport at Richmond, Va., to Farmville with an honor guard provided by the Patriot Guard Riders, a motorcycle group of former service members.

"He's not supposed to be dead," said the Rev. Leon Burchett, who did the eulogy at Yale's funeral and in whose home Yale had often lived as a teenager. "The casket was flag-draped but it couldn't be opened. There's no closure -- it's like we're still waiting for him to come home."

On Long Island, a bridge was renamed for Haerter. His high school put a flag from his funeral in a time capsule. His family set up a memorial website, www.jordanhaerter.com.

At a Wounded Warrior Project event, Haerter's mother, JoAnn Lyles, her voice breaking, talked of how she had hoped to do something special for his 20th birthday. "We now know that Jordan -- Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter -- was already a man, a courageous and brave young man."

Their battalions are now back at Camp Lejeune, N.C. -- for Haerter, the 1st Battalion, 9th Regiment; for Yale, the 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment. In Iraq, both units were part of the Camp Pendleton-based Regimental Combat Team One.

Yale's unit was within a week of going home when the attack occurred. His death seemed to deflate its sense of achievement.

"The Marines were very upset and very disappointed because of the effort they had made to make a better life for the Iraqis and then to have this happen," said Capt. Matthew Martin, Yale's company commander.

Haerter's unit had just arrived for a seven-month deployment, and officers tried to make sure his death did not unduly distract the Marines.

"It's something you don't get over," said Lt. Dan Runzheimer, 24, Haerter's platoon leader.

"I wouldn't say it put a cloud on us, but it was always there. The men still knew what they had to do: You have to . . . complete the mission."

As both battalions train for possible deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan, the deaths of their comrades are still in their thoughts.

Yale was always trying to boost the morale of his buddies, said Lance Cpl. Brandon Creely, 21, of Boise, Idaho. "Whenever I was down, he'd tell a joke, tell me it's not as bad as it seems."

Staff Sgt. Grooms, 28, said he knows how Haerter should be remembered.
"He was a hero," Grooms said, "and a damn fine person."

tony.perry@latimes.com
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