Marine Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter of Sag Harbor and U.S. Army 1st Lt. Joseph Theinert of Shelter Island will be posthumously inducted into the State Senate’s Veterans Hall of Fame in Albany during a ceremony on May 22, Sen. Ken LaValle announced Tuesday.
Haerter , just three weeks after being sent to Iraq. He killed a suicide bomber entering a base in Ramadi and saved 33 fellow marines and Iraqi police.
Haerter had been deployed to Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia district of Ramadi, which at one point was the center of insurgency in that city. He and fellow Marine Cpl. Jonathan Yale, had been standing guard at an Entry Control Point when a large truck accelerated toward them, careening off the protective serpentine and ignoring all signals. When the truck failed to stop, Haeter and Yale opened fire until a 2,000-pound blast claimed their lives.
Theinert, whose father lives in Sag Harbor, deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as a new lieutenant. Approximately six weeks into his deployment, Theinert was killed in action at the age of 24 on June 4, 2010 while on foot patrol in Kandahar. While his platoon was undergoing hostile fire from rocket propelled grenades, Theinert noticed something suspicious and went to investigate. It was at that point an improvised explosive device detonated and killed him.
Theinert was known to be concerned about his men. Before he left, Theinert told his mother he wouldn't know what he would do if he had to write home to a parent or wife if one of his men died under his command. No other men of Theinert's platoon were physically hurt or killed during the incident that took his life.
“Joe Theinert and Jordan Haerter are true heroes who gave their lives protecting the freedoms we treasure. They should be recognized and commended by our State and community,” LaValle said in a statement. “Induction into the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame is a tribute to these two fine young men that demonstrates our respect and gratitude for their patriotism and sacrifice.”
The State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame was created to honor and recognize outstanding veterans from New York who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life.
The two young men have been honored in various ways throughout the East End. In October 2010, a 1.4-mile section of The bridge from Sag Harbor to North Haven was renamed the Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter Memorial Bridge.