MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – --
The 8th Marine Regiment held a dedication ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Aug. 28, 2014, to rename the Wallace Creek Dining Hall in honor of two Marines who died protecting their own in Iraq.
Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale, an anti-tank missile man with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, from Burkeville, Virginia, and Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter, a rifleman with 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, from Sag Habor, New York, were killed April 22, 2008, while providing security at a checkpoint in Ramadi, Iraq. Yale and Haerter were manning a guard post when a truck loaded with 2,000 pounds of explosives began speeding toward the gate. Yale and Haerter opened fire at the truck causing it to explode before reaching its intended target. Their actions saved the lives of approximately 50 Marines and 100 Iraqi policemen who were asleep inside the outpost. Yale and Haerter were posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for heroism in November 2008.
“That worth and purpose in the young lives of Cpl. Yale and Lance Cpl. Haerter was not only to save the lives of their brother Marines and Iraqi partners, but to forever inspire us with their bravery, their heroism, and their selfless sacrifice,” said Colonel Kenneth M. DeTreux, the commanding officer of 8th Marine Regiment, originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Approximately 50 spectators attended the dedication ceremony as well as a two platoons of 24 Marines each, representing 1/9 and 2/8. The ceremony included a speech by DeTreux and a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open Yale Haerter Mess Hall conducted by the colonel and the parents of Yale and Haerter.
“Jordan’s name will be known for much longer than my lifetime,” said JoAnn L. Lyles, Haerter’s mother. “I just think this is good that his name is written in stone somewhere. People will know his name for a long time.”
Rebecca A. Yale considered the dedication a great honor and appreciates that there is now a place for her son to be remembered.
“The naming of the Wallace Creek Chow Hall provides us a destination, a place to remember and never forget,” said DeTreux, “to hold Cpl. Yale and Lance Cpl. Haerter forever in our hearts and forever in our memory.”