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IRAQ: Two Marines, different in many ways but united in a sense of duty

Jordanhaerter11

They were from different backgrounds and races and separate regions of the country.

Yale_jonathan_t_lg11Cpl. Jonathan Yale, 21, was planning to organize a paintball game for his buddies once they returned home from their deployment to Ramadi. Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter, 19, talked often of how much he missed his pickup truck. Both had girlfriends.

"He cared so much about everybody else, always checking up on us," Lance Cpl. Alexander Apple, 20, of Arlington, Va., said of Yale.

Lance Cpl. Nicholas Xiarhos, 20, of Cape Cod, Mass., said Haerter "wasn't your stereotypical infantry grunt. He was quiet, there to do a job, not cocky or boastful."

On April 22, the two Marines were assigned to guard the main gate to a joint Marine-Iraqi police station. Within hours both were dead from a suicide bombing but Marine brass say their bravery saved the lives of dozens of Marines and Iraqi police.

"For their dedication, they lost their lives," said Maj. Gen. John Kelly, who nominated the two for the Navy Cross. "Because they did what they did, only two families had their hearts broken on 22 April, rather than as many as 50. These families will never know how truly close they came to a knock on the door that night."

For the full account see The Times story...

-- Tony Perry, San Diego

Photo: Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter (top), Cpl. Jonathan Yale (bottom). Credit: Marine Corps

P.S. Get news from the Middle East in your mailbox every day. The Los Angeles Times distributes a free daily newsletter with the latest headlines from the Middle East, including the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. You can subscribe by logging in at the website here, clicking on the box for "L.A. Times updates" and then clicking on the "World: Mideast" box.

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