We're not lost, Sergeant, We're in … France

Lessons from 30 years ago

Over on Bring the Heat, Bring the Stupid, UltimaRatioRegis wrote about the bombing of the Beirut barracks 30 years ago today. Fortunately, some lessons were learned and on the morning of 22 April 2008, LCPL Jordan Haerter (1/9) and CPL Jonathan Yale (2/8) had fully-loaded weapons. Recently, I finally saw the footage of the truck coming down the alley in Ramadi, thanks to a Facebook posting on In Jordan’s Honor. The footage is part of a CBS News report made when Haerter and Yale were awarded the Navy Cross.

As you watch the video, you see an Iraqi policemen at the gate, who lets in one person, then returns to his position to watch down the alley. Haerter and Yale are inside their sandbagged bunker, so you can’t really see them. As the truck bangs it’s way down the alley, you can see their efforts however, since their firing both generates little puffs and the vehicle is impacted by the rounds. The policeman, like any sane person who wants to save himself, turns and runs. Haerter and Yale do not.

That policeman survived.

Everyone in the barracks behind them survived.

My own favorite Marine, CPL Alex Apple, who was on post nearby, survived.

Haerter and Yale had the means to save the lives of their fellow Marines and the Iraqi policemen in those barracks, and they used them. Neither Haerter nor Yale survived.

In Beirut, 241 Marines perished and taught a lesson. In Ramadi, 2 Marines died demonstrating the value of learning that lesson. Let’s hope that their efforts and the lesson are not forgotten.

Also visit: Video remembrance of the Beirut Bombing produced by the Marine Corps.

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