Friday, November 05, 2010

Marine Staff Sgt. Jordan B. Emrick

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Staff Sgt. Jordan B. Emrick, 26, of Hoyleton, Ill.

SSgt Emrick was assigned to 1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Nov. 5, 2010 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations.

Emrick joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2002 and was serving with a company from Camp Pendleton in California, the department said. He graduated from Nashville Community High School. For about three of his teen years, he did everything from milking cows to tending to the corn, soybean and wheat fields on the 3,000-acre Kasten family farm.

Nathan Kasten, who owns the farm with his father and brother, said Emrick was so dedicated that he would work until 7 p.m. on a Friday, ski all night at a resort near St. Louis, not sleep a wink and show up for work again at 5 a.m. the next day. "He was absolutely full of energy, never complained," Kasten said, adding that Emrick also was an experienced sky diver.

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks inspired Emrick to join the military, his father, Terry, said from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. He and his family were awaiting Emrick's body to be flown from Germany on Sunday night.

Terry Emrick said he remembers well the conversation he and Emrick had when his son decided not to attend college, where he had planned to study pharmacy, and instead joined the service.

"He said he was afraid he'd bail out after a few years and wanted to have maturity first," Terry Emrick said.

Emrick was an explosives expert, a job he was proud of, and had left Oct. 10 for a seven-month stint in Afghanistan, his father said. It was Emrick's third deployment. Terry Emrick said he doesn't know all the details about his son's death, but he said Emrick was on a team foot patrol and "made contact with an IED" when he died.

Nathan Kasten couldn't believe it when his young employee and friend announced he would forego college to join the military.

Jordon B. Emrick, a staff sergeant who was eight years into his career with the Marines, was killed Friday by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. He was one of the top students in his graduating class at Nashville High School.

"He could have gone to any college or university in the country," Kasten said.

Emrick, 26 and from Hoyleton, died in the Helmand Province in Afghanistan, according to Styninger Funeral Chapel, the Hoyleton business handling his arrangements. Services haven't yet been scheduled; Kasten said Emrick's parents were in Dover, Del., on Sunday night to receive their son's body.

Emrick was serving with a company from Camp Pendleton, Calif. Kasten said Emrick's job was perhaps the most dangerous task in the military -- diffusing bombs.

"He definitely thought the job he had had a purpose and a place, and he was very proud to be doing it," Kasten said.

Kasten, 42 and also from Hoyleton, knew the soldier as a young child, and Emrick worked for his grain and dairy farm when he was in high school. The soldier got Kasten to join Facebook so the two could stay in touch while he was deployed.

Kasten said Emrick wasn't married and didn't have any children. He did have a sailboat and he loved skydiving. "He was definitely a free spirit," Kasten said. "He lived life to its fullest every day of his life."

Marine Staff Sgt. Jordan B. Emrick was killed in action on 11/05/10.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My husband served with Emrick and we will always remember him and his wonderful nature. He was a great mentor to my husband and will never be forgotten. Semper Fi.