In 2008, two Marines showed what it takes to defeat the enemy, the willingness to die. Corporal Jonathan Yale, 22 and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 20, were guarding the entrance of a Marine compound when their lives were taken from them in a terrorist attack in Ramadi.
As seen in the video, the truck entered an alleyway and sped up as it headed for the compound entrance. The two Marines stood their ground and started firing at the vehicle. The Iraqi soldiers turned and ran for safety instead of joining the Marines and fighting against the suicide attack, exhibiting their lack of courage.
The Iraqi soldiers said that they thought the Marines would also run from the danger, “like any normal man would to save his life.”
The Marines stood there, in a display of bravery, and continued to fire at the vehicle, knowing they were fighting back alone. Their only focus was to protect the Marines and Iraqi allies that were in the compound at the time. The driver was shot and killed right before the truck reached the entrance, causing the vehicle to detonate, immediately killing the Marines.
According to Breitbart, 2000 pounds of explosives were used. The blast was so harsh, a mosque nearby had collapsed, and 24 brick masonry homes were damaged.
Marine Corps Lt. General John Kelly commanded all U.S. and Iraqi forces at the time. During a tribute to the two Marines General Kelly mentioned that “they never stepped back”:
“They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live. The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty into eternity…”
Yale and Haerter were awarded the Nation’s second highest award, the Navy Cross, for their brave actions.
The six seconds of the video show what is still going with the Iraqi army today, and explains why the city of Ramadi didn’t fight back in an ISIS attack last week.
In an interview with Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, the Iraqi army’s “will to fight” was called into question. The surrounding areas also show no willingness to help defeat ISIS.
In a diary written by Private Martin Treptow, an American soldier killed in WWI, is a short message about the American soldiers will to fight. He said “America must win this war. Therefore, I will work; I will save; I will sacrifice; I will endure; I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost as if the whole issue of the struggle depended on me alone.
The American armed forces’ determination to fight is much stronger than that of the Iraqi, as they seem to lack the commitment and the courage that men like Treptow, Yale, and Haerter had.