Sunday, October 23, 2011

Marine Lance Cpl. Jordan S. Bastean

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Jordan S. Bastean, 19, of Pekin, Ill.

LCpl Bastean was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; died Oct. 23, 2011 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Lcpl Bastean graduated from Pekin Community High School in 2010, where he was a four-year cadet of the JROTC and had been the captain of the Air Rifle Team. He also had participated in track and cross country.

Lcpl Bastean enlisted in the Marines in July 2010. The battalion deployed last month to Sangin, where forces have recently suffered the heaviest casualties. This was his first deployment.

Lcpl Bastean loved big trucks, loved to hunt and was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Cubs. He was an only child.

Bastean “excelled in everything,” not just as a four-year cadet and captain of the program’s champion-caliber Air Rifle Team, said Master Sgt. Joseph Fabish. “He was a very well-rounded person. I’d trust him completely in anything. I’m just devastated. This is hitting the cadets pretty hard...”

Father, Steve, remembered how his son, Jordan returned his Jeep after a day of four-wheeling. "He brought it back with 4 inches of mud inside. He told me, 'Dad, it's a Jeep; it's supposed to get dirty.' It had a broken transmission and a broken engine. I laughed and then fixed it."

Further remembering his son, Steve said, there's the goofy smile, the cowboy hat, the love of monster trucks, and of course, the Marines. It's what his son wanted to do, be a Marine because "they were the toughest."

Steve, who is 40, enlisted in the Army and completed boot camp a few months ago. He is a private, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. He left civilian life and a good job because of his son's example.

"He inspired me. Fathers are supposed to inspire their kids to look up to them. Well, my son is my hero and what I look up to," said Steve.

"My son and I had a father-son relationship, but we were also friends. This was something that kept us together. We could go for a run in the park and I could keep up with him and he could keep up with me."

The two were able to time their leaves to come back over Labor Day weekend for some time together. It was just before Jordan was to ship out for Afghanistan. As for any interservice rivalry, he noted his son outranked him as long as they were in uniform.

His father says his son was the type of person who didn't get angry and always managed to look at the positives in life, no matter what.

"He'd be going down the road in his truck, a wheel would fall off and he'd stop, look at it, laugh, fix the wheel and then go on again. Nothing bothered him," Steve Bastean said. "No matter what, Jordan was a happy kid and a happy man."

Lcpl Bastean’s girlfriend, Courtney Anglin, wrote this message on Bastean's Facebook page:

i love you so much i will never forget you, you will always be in my heart no matter what babe i love you ♥ you made me feel like a different person when i was around you, you made me the happiest person:) and you will be missed I LOVE YOU

Friend, Vanessa Kowalczyk wrote: "I remember every bit of advice you have given me, and I love you with all my heart. ... You were the best brother I could have ever asked for. You are my hero and I will never forget you." She also posted lyrics from a Tim McGraw song, "so lay me down in that open field out on the edge of town. And know my soul is where my momma always prayed that it would go. And if you're reading this, I'm already home."

Lcpl Bastean's awards and decorations include:
Purple Heart
Combat Action Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
NATO Medal ISAF-Afghanistan.

Lcpl Bastean was laid to rest on November 2 in Prairie Haven Cemetery, Pekin, IL.

Lcpl Bastean is survived by his parents, Kathy and Steven; grandparents, Bob, Judy, and Thomas; and Jackie and Phil; girlfriend, Courtney Anglin.

Marine Lance Cpl. Jordan S. Bastean was killed in action on 10/23/11.

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