By Cpl. Shannon McMillan 1st MarDiv
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan –Coalition forces and friends gathered for a memorial service to honor Staff Sgt. Jordan B. Emrick here, Nov. 13.
More than 100 service members bowed their heads in silence and paid their final respects to one of their own.
Emrick, an explosive ordnance disposal technician assigned to 1st EOD Company, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), was killed Nov. 5 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
“He was very eager to do his job,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Scott Ingbretsen, explosive ordnance disposal chief, 1st EOD Co., 1st MLG (FWD). “He was very dedicated to his job and to the other EOD technicians.”
Emrick enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 2002 and completed recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. After completion of Personnel Administration School at Camp Johnson, N.C., Emrick was assigned to 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan.
In August 2006, Emrick re-enlisted in the Marine Corps and lateral moved into the Explosive Ordnance Disposal field. Upon completion of training, Emrick checked into 1st EOD Co., 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st MLG in Camp Pendleton, Calif.
In 2008, Emrick deployed as an EOD technician in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In September 2009, he deployed with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, returning in April 2010. Just six months later, he volunteered yet again to deploy with 1st EOD Co. in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“He turned down having time off and instead volunteered to go straight back to work,” said Staff Sgt. Donavin Bender, team leader with 1st EOD Co., 1st MLG (FWD). “We hit the ground running right out of the gates with a heavy workload.”
On Nov. 5, Emrick and his team were conducting a post-blast analysis on an improvised explosive device and rendered another IED safe. The patrol he was with then came under heavy small arms fire, which restricted their movement.
“Jordan quickly maintained a low profile and began to clear a pathway around the compound in order to ensure a safe pathway for the Marines of Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joseph M. David, 3rd Platoon commander with 1st EOD Co., 1st MLG (FWD). “He exposed himself to hostile fire, searching for improvised explosive devices.”
While sweeping the area, Emrick noticed something suspicious and shouted a warning for the Marines to get to a safe distance. He then attempted to disable an IED. His last act saved the lives of his fellow Marines.
“Jordan paid the ultimate sacrifice and saved two lives that day, 1st Lt. Guy Zierks’ and mine,” Bender said. “I owe it to Jordan and his family to continue to work as hard as I possibly can, to do this job.”
“It is hard to say goodbye, so goodbye for now my friend,” said Bender. “Rest in peace, and know that you will never be forgotten.”