Their was another tremendous turnout for the 2nd annual Jordan’s Run, presented by In Jordan’s Honor, Ltd., a 501 (c) (3) not for profit charitable memorial fund that honors the memory of United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal Jordan Christian Haerter of Sag Harbor, who was killed in action in Ramadi, Iraq.
The race, which is part of the Suffolk County Veterans Run Series, was held on Sunday, July 29 and started and ended at Pierson High School – where Jordan graduated from in 2006.
This year’s 5K brought out several 1st Battalion, 9th Marines (1/9 Marines), Jordan’s unit, and the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, who shared the same barracks in Ramadi, Iraq with the 1st Battalion was also represented.
“Thank-you to 1st Battalion Marines that have come here – from as far away California. We’ve very proud of that,” JoAnn Lyles, Jordan Haerter’s mother, who founded In Jordan’s Honor, Ltd., told the crowd.
“The Patriot Guards, Red Knights, and American Legion Riders, they’re here supporting the run as well,” Lyles told us. “This Marine Color Guard is from the local VFW Post in Sag Harbor.”
For Ernie Trevizo of the 1st Battalion who served with Jordan, it was a poignant occasion. “It means a lot to me,” he told us about being there. “What Jordan did, he selflessly gave his life so I could start mine. I have two beautiful children because of him. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here today doing what I’m doing now, being a family man.”
Congressman Lee Zeldin and Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone were also on hand.
“It’s clear that as we gather here today with inspiration in our hearts that Jordan continues to serve. He provides us with inspiration every single day, especially here this morning. As we gather together with Jordan’s family it is with a heavy heart. We know that tomorrow would be his 30th birthday,” Congressman Zeldin told the crowd. “But what better way to be celebrating the life of Jordan and the fact that tomorrow would be his birthday than all of us together here in Sag Harbor to pay tribute to him? But, also with that inspiration it fills our heart to raise money for those who are currently going to school here looking to serve our country, and there are many different ways to serve.”
Bellone, who himself is a veteran, is also head of the Suffolk County Veterans Run Series.
“It’s an honor to be here today, this morning, with all of you participating in Jordan’s Run and being part of Jordan’s team here. It’s most specially an honor to be here with JoAnn Lyles and I’m grateful to her and all the amazing family and supporters for the work that she does and that they do to support our veterans and to help others. It really is an amazing thing,” Bellone told the crowd. “To do it in Jordan’s name, who is without question an American hero, somebody who represents the best of our nation, somebody who as a United States Marine who stood his ground with incredible valor and bravery and courage and selflessness and saved so many lives because of that. Our country is what is today, we are able to gather here today because of individuals like Jordan.”
Jordan’s Run was the halfway mark for the Series which continues with the Dog Tag Run Mission 22 on September 8, the Catholic Health Services’ Suffolk Country Marathon on October 28, and Hope for the Warriors Long Island Run for the Warriors on November 10.
“It’s all about coming together as a community and running to support important veterans causes and to help support those who continue to serve and do things for our country,” Bellone said about the Run Series.
There was also a special presentation led by Gold Star dad Tim Scherer that honored a longtime Series volunteer. Jordan’s Run marked the 24th run in the Run Series, which was founded in 2015. It also marked the 24th consecutive time that Chris Gillin had volunteered – whether it be organizing the water stop, setting up tents in pouring rain, handing out numbers or t-shirts, or helping out at the finish. In honor of the teen’s dedication and philanthropic efforts, Guillen was presented a Military Compass, as well as a surprise scholarship award from the Run Series. It was a bittersweet moment for Guillen as his streak ended that day because he’s heading to SUNY New Paltz this fall to study Computer Science.
For more information, visit visit www.injordanshonor.com.