View Full Version : 2 fallen Lejeune Marines to receive Navy Cross

02-12-09, 07:21 AM
2 fallen Lejeune Marines to receive Navy Cross
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February 11, 2009 - 12:41 PM

Two Camp Lejeune Marines are slated to receive the Navy's highest honor posthumously.

Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter, from Sag Harbor, N.Y., and Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale, from Burkeville, Va., will be awarded the Navy Cross at a ceremony Feb. 20 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps near Quantico, Va. The Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter, is scheduled to present the medals, according to a 2nd Marine Division news release.

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 recognized the threat as a suicide bomber and fired on the truck, which stopped a few feet from them. The suicide bomber detonated the approximately 2,000 pounds of explosives in the truck, leveling the entry control point and mortally wounding Haerter and Yale.

Haerter and Yale's personal award recommendations credit them with saving the lives of 50 Marines and Iraqi policemen.

"The explosion blew out all of the windows over 150 meters from where the blast hit," said Lance Cpl. Benjamin Tupaj, a rifleman with 3rd Platoon, Weapons Company, 1st Bn., 9th Marines. "They saved all of our lives, if it wasn't for them that gate probably wouldn't have held. If that truck had made it into the compound, there would've been a lot more casualties. They saved everyone's life here."