A 20-year-old graduate of Pierson High School’s class of 2006 was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq early Tuesday morning.
At approximately 7:30 a.m. Iraq time, Jordan Haerter, a Multi-National Force–West Marine sentry, and one of his comrades were slain at a checkpoint near the western city of Ramadi, the capitol of Anbar Province, when a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device was detonated from a speeding truck at a nearby entry control point, according to a Multi-National Force press release. Three other Marines, two Iraqi police and 24 Iraqi citizens were wounded in the attack and taken to local medical facilities.
In his high school yearbook, it was apparent that Mr. Haerter was readying himself for a military career. He listed his favorite movie as “Black Hawk Down” and wrote that his greatest ambition was to become a good Marine and “be extremely successful in life.” He said he liked driving his truck on the beach with friends, paint-balling, parties and the United States Marine Corps.
His mother, JoAnn Lyles, and his father, Christian Haerter, met with a Marine First Sergeant at Ms. Lyles’ Sag Harbor home on Wednesday before making funeral arrangements. Mr. Haerter’s father owns a water filtration systems business in Sag Harbor and his mother is an employee of Riverhead Building Supply in East Hampton. Jordan was the couple’s only child.
Although the Sag Harbor schools were closed for the spring recess, District Superintendent Kathryn Holden was in her office Wednesday composing a voice message about the tragedy for district personnel. “I have the very sad task of informing faculty and staff,” Ms. Holden said, adding, “It’s very, very sad.”
On March 17, Mr. Haerter’s parents, along with other parents of young men and women of Sag Harbor currently serving overseas in the U.S. Military, were honored with blue star flags at VFW Post 9082 on Bay Street, according to Robyn LeGrand, a member of the ladies auxiliary.
Mr. Haerter’s body was still in Kuwait on Wednesday, but was due to arrive in the States by Thursday morning.
Visitation will be held at Yardley and Pino Funeral Home, at 91 Hampton Street in Sag Harbor, and mourners should call for hours.
A funeral will be held at the Old Whalers First Presbyterian Church on Union Street at 11 a.m. on Saturday.