Monday, February 7, 2011

Jared M. Landaker, Marines, 1st Lieutenant -- Rest In Peace

Jared M. Landaker, 25

Marines, 1st Lieutenant
Based: Camp Pendleton
Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: February 7, 2007
Between Fallouja and Baghdad, Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Big Bear City
High School: Big Bear High (Big Bear Lake)
Burial: Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside
When Marine 1st Lt. Jared Landaker logged into his page Feb. 4, the helicopter pilot had less than two weeks left in his Iraq tour.

Three days later, his friends in California were already planning for his Feb. 15 homecoming. One of them, a Coast Guard pilot named Marc, wrote on Landaker’s profile, “Get you’re a-- back here ... enjoy your last week in the sandbox.”

Landaker, 25, was killed that same day. His CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter was shot down Feb. 7 during a casualty evacuation, according to Marine officials. All seven aboard — five Marines and two sailors — were killed.

By the time the Defense Department announced Landaker’s death Feb. 12, word had already spread through MySpace, and the lieutenant’s buddies had already posted 16 comments to “J-Rod” on his page.

“I just can’t come to terms with this,” wrote Shannon Meketarian, Landaker’s friend since third grade. “When are you going to pop out around the corner and laugh at us for making such a fuss over you?”

Landaker’s friends are part of a generation of people who communicate with their peers through social networking Web sites like MySpace. When they log on to MySpace, his picture is still there, his head slightly tilted, smiling back at them from their friends list. On his profile, Landaker is still a helicopter pilot “living the dream” in “beautiful Iraq,” listening to Social Distortion and Metallica.

And his profile will stay that way.

MySpace officials said in a statement that the company does not delete profiles due to inactivity. It also “does not allow anyone to assume control of a deceased user’s profile” in order to protect the member’s privacy.

That means the “last login” date on the user’s profile — along with everything posted there — will never change. A subtle detail for some, the unchanging date is a glaring reminder of finality for others.
Read the entire story about Marine 1st Lieutenant Jared M. Landaker at Military Times, find more at
Seven Stars Foundation and the LA Times and the Press Examiner.

The above photograph found at

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