Tuesday, December 30, 2008
On April 22 of this year Marine Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale 21, of Burkeville, Va.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; and Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter, a rifleman with 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment were killed in action as they refused to leave their post and continued to fire upon a suicide bombing truck containing 2000 pounds of high explosives bearing down on their check point while conducting combat operations in Balad, Iraq. Their heroic stand has been recognized, Maj. Gen. John Kelly who personally conducted the investigation into this event has recommended that the pair be awarded posthumsaly the Navy Cross for their heroic stand that day.
From The LA Times online
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.
Their bravery in the face of the enemy goes to show what fine young men we have serving in the Marin Corps and our armed forces. God Bless them and their families.