Surely many of you have already heard the story of these two Marines, Jordan Haerter and Jonathan Hale. You can't tell the story of one without the other. Current Chief of Staff and former Marine Corps General John Kelly told the story of these two Marines in a way, that we doubt we ever could. But for those of you who don't know the story, or just needed the inspiration this morning, we'll tell it as best we can because it's a song of heroism and selfless devotion that will stand the test of time.In every single way, it is reflective of the spirit of the Marine Corps. You may kill us, may being the operative word here, but Marines are going to ensure they kill you right back. Such is how we see the story of Jordan Haerter of 1st Battalion 9th Marines and Jonathan Hale of 2nd Battalion 8th Marines. When the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor is pinned upon your lapel, when that unmistakable, symbol of belonging is received, indicating that you are now part of the brotherhood, you are forever changed. Some don't buy into the hype, they're foolish.Haerter and Hale, on post that fateful morning in the city of Ramadi. A city that saw violence and fever-pitched battles up until 2007, where a momentary peace was only replaced with violence once again. The year was 2008, and a vehicle-borne suicide bomb careened towards the two Marines. One set to go home, one just arriving.
In the words of at the time General John Kelly who had just lost his own son in combat, "They leaned in."Life is a precious gift. Our mortality is both fragile, yet tough. Feats of extraordinary heroism and bravery coupled with the tragedy of being finite beings. Both Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter and Corporal Jonathan Hale, in unison, faced down their own end tenaciously, ferociously, defending each other and their brothers behind them.Remember these two men, these brothers well and live as they did, boldly and bravely till the end.Read more stories of American Grit: