In Jordan’s Honor

In Jordan’s Honor

I tend not to get too personal in these pages. Maybe a couple of posts about various trips or family updates but, for the most part, I like to keep things focused on Lovell and Kezar Lake. However, this past weekend was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. We have always been proud of our son Benjamin, but over the last few days, Rondi and I discovered quite a bit more about his commitment to others, the commitment to his country and the overall respect he has earned from his peers.

In early 2008, Benjamin was deployed to Ramadi, Iraq. His station was comprised of United States Marines and Iraqi police. In the early morning of April 22, 2008, two Marines, Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale and LCpl. Jordan Haerter, standing guard at their posts, stopped a suicide bomber from killing 50 US Marines and additional Iraqi police officers. Our son was one of those Marines saved.

Over the years, there have been several memorial bike rides in Jordan’s honor but 2017 marked the inaugural “Jordan’s Run: Veterans’ Memorial 5k Run” which is part of a Veteran’s series on Long Island. Having run in, worked in and organized multiple races over the years, I was very impressed by what this race committee put together. Major sponsors (Macy’s), great t-shirts, lots of food, friendly volunteers, support from police, fire and rescue service departments. It was clear, as the participants went through residential neighborhoods as well as the downtown commercial area, that the entire town of Sag Harbor was there to support the event.

One of the realities of having a child serve in the military is that they will be placed in harm’s way. There is no avoiding this. Over the weekend, we met several Gold Star parents and it is difficult to express my gratitude to their sacrifices. In addition to meeting the Platoon Commander, we also met a number of Marines who were with Ben on that dark day. But most important to me, was meeting Jordan’s mother JoAnne Lyles. It is amazing that she has worked so hard over the past nine years, through the memory of her son Jordan, to help many others. And that is her vision, that every year runners and walkers will come together to not only honor Jordan, but to help many others. With 358 finishers in the very first race, I am confident that it will continue to grow for many, many years.

As the proud parent of a Marine, I ask every reader of KezarLife to take a few minutes to read the transcript of the speech given by Lt. General John Kelly about these two brave Marines. And to then take a moment and reflect on what this great country means to you and the people who protect our way of life.

Click here to read Lt. General Kelly’s speech.

About kezarlife

I am a year-round resident of Lovell, owner of Kezar Realty (KezarRealty.com) and enjoy the variety of experiences that living in western Maine offers. Numerous lakes, ponds and mountains provide the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors every day. Married to Rondi we have two children. Ben is a Sergeant in the US Marines and with his wife Cassandra, son Jackson and daughter Reagan, live in Virginia. Ben's most recent deployment was to Afghanistan. Anna is a graduate of Fryeburg Academy, has studied in Beijing, China as well as Taiwan and now attends Hunter College in NYC where she is enrolled in their Chinese Flagship Program. I am active in many local organizations including the Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Lovell Historical Society, Old Home Days, Lovell 5k Run, the Gasping Gobbler, the Tour de Lovell and the Brick Church for the Performing Arts. I also serve as President-elect of the Western Maine Board of Realtors. Please visit www.KezarRealty.com for up-to-date real estate listings and information on western Maine! Stan Tupaj
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5 Responses to In Jordan’s Honor

  1. Jan says:

    Thank you for sharing–powerful story of bravery and honor.

  2. sweetmeow says:

    My God. I didn’t know this – that your son was among the 50 + who were saved. It’s a VERY small world. I live in Southampton, NY – only a few miles from Sag Harbor, NY. Yes – he is a hero – a hero especially here on the east end of Long Island. It brought tears to my eyes reading his story in the link you posted.

    (FYI – I come to Lovell yearly to spend 2 weeks at our cabins in the north bay end of Kezar)

    • kezarlife says:

      It is such a powerful story, one that I have read many times, and I can’t get through it without shedding tears. Please stop in on your next Lovell visit.

      • sweetmeow says:

        Your son is here because of them. I can’t imagine the feelings….

        We’ve already been to Maine this year. (My sister is there now). We saw Heather Masse and Jed Wilson at the Brick Church while we were there. 🙂

      • kezarlife says:

        Heather and Jed were outstanding and they give a tremendous boost to the Brick Church when they are on the schedule. Jed will be at the Brick Church again next week with the Bradley Jazz Collective. Lots of talent in Lovell.

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