They had just met a few hours earlier. (LA Times story)
One had just come in country, the other was just about to leave. In terms of where they were placed on the official chain of command, no one would have noticed them. A corporal, a lance corporal.
But where they stood on that day was with the greats.
The day started out normally for any marine on security detail, with Cpl. Jonathan Hale explaining how to run a checkpoint - what to look for, how to handle the flow and the traffic to Lance Corporal Jordan Haeter. Only minutes had passed since the two had met as the sun rose over Ramadi.
Suddenly the two spotted a Mercedes truck coming through the winding lanes of the security barriers. They yelled at it to stop, and waved at the driver to tell him to slow down. But the truck, laden with over 2,000 pounds of explosives, and its driver wired to a switch that would detonate them even if he were killed, sped up.
The Iraqi police who were the first line of defense cut and ran.
The two Marines engaged the truck as it barreled toward them - Hale with his machine gun, Haeter with his M-16. Before the truck was able to make it into the base, it exploded, leaving a crater 5 feet deep and 20 feet across - flattening a house and a mosque nearby.
When the dust settled, Haeter was dead and Yale mortally wounded. 30 others were wounded, but the dozens of Marines and Iraqis who were inside the base were unharmed.
The commanding general of all Marines in Iraq, Gen. Kelly, personally investigated the attack, and when he viewed the security tape, there he saw the two Marines, put together minutes before, standing as brothers firing at the truck headed directly toward them. As the tape rolled you can see the others running for safety, but the two Marines were faithful unto death. They were awarded the Nary Cross posthumously.
When do you think the two men who gave up their lives for their friends made that decision? Was it done in that moment?
Or was it when they made the decision to serve their nation by becoming a United States Marine?
Friends, what kind of decision did you make when you decided to follow Jesus?
12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.13 There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.
John 15:12-13 (NLT)
Will you be ready when the time comes to live out your faith?
Will you deny yourself and pour out your life as an offering out of love for the One who gave His life for you?
Are you ready?
Grace and peace to you,