Friday, January 15, 2016

Stories of Giving from Rick Sanders (1)

This foundation keeps the memories of 7 crew members who died serving our country, and continues to help military families. Lt. Jared Landaker was from Big Bear CA and a graduate of the University of La Verne. 7 STARS FOUNDATION The Seven Stars Foundation, Inc. was established on 2-7-2007, in honor of the 7 crew members on a US Marine Corps CH-46 Casevac helicopter that was shot down in Iraq, killing all on board. MISSION STATEMENT To make a positive impact on the children of both Wounded and Fallen military personnel through financial, emotional, and educational assistance. Every year the Seven Stars Foundation sends children of the Fallen, Wounded or Active military to Camp Whittle in Big Bear. The children get to spend a week enjoying outdoor activities and making new friends. We thank you for your support. We will never forget... Jared Michael-Vincent Landaker was born to Joe and Laura Landaker at their home in Madera, CA on May 3, 1981. His parents moved to Big Bear City, CA when his father transferred to Running Springs, CA with the California Highway Patrol. Jared attended school in Big Bear Valley where he excelled in soccer, baseball, and football. In his 1998 season, he was chosen as all CIF defensive back for the Big Bear High School Bears and was selected to play in Hawaii his senior year. Upon graduation from high school, Jared enrolled at the University of La Verne in California where he graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Physics. After the 9-11 attack, Jared felt a sense of duty and elected to OCS in the United States Marine Corps upon graduation. While attending college, Jared began to take Platoon Leaders Courses on his summer break between his Junior and Senior years of college. Following graduation in 2003, Jared accepted his Commission in the United States Marines as a 2nd Lt. and began his training in Quantico, Virginia at The Basic School. Upon completion of TBS, Jared transferred to Pensacola, Florida for flight school, where he excelled and graduated at the top of his class. Jared completed school by being named in the top 5% of all students and a position on the Commodore's list. During his time at flight school, Jared opted to fly helicopters instead of flying jets. He stated "he wanted to fly Marines in, but more importantly fly them out". Jared reported to Camp Pendleton, California to train in the CH-46 medium helicopter with Squadron HMMT-164. After completion of his training, he reported to HMM-364, the "World Famous Purple Foxes" where he also became their S2 (Officer Intelligence Officer). On August 18, 2006, Lt. Landaker deployed to the Al Anbar Province in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While there, Lt. Landaker would complete his HAC qualification early with a total of 496 hours to become a "Helicopter Aircraft Commander". Jared was selected to depart Iraq early to attend Weapons and Tactical School in Yuma, AZ for training as a WTI Instructor. With only a week left in Iraq, his crewmembers received a call that three Marines were wounded and needed a Cas-e-Vac flight. With his flight crew and Corpsmen on board, they picked up the wounded and delivered them to Balad Hospital. Upon the return flight to their base, they were requested to pick up some blood and transport it to the hospital in Fallujah. During this flight they received machine gun fire and rocket fire resulting in the downing of the helicopter and killing all on board. On February 7, 2007, Lt. Jared M. Landaker and his crew of six were KIA in Karmah, Iraq. On February 17, 2007, Jared was laid to rest at the Riverside Veterans Cemetery in Riverside, CA. His father, Joe, a Vietnam Marine stated ""He did more in 25 years than most of us will do in 75 years." “ He always wanted to fly,” said Luke Wagner, a friend since their days as freshmen at Big Bear High. “Flying and helping others were his passions, and that’s what he was doing in Iraq every day.” “What he was doing everyday was waiting for a buzzer to go off to go save a Marine’s life. He ended up dying doing that,” said longtime friend 1st Lt. Matt Jackson, 27, of Orange who flies helicopters for the Army Jared’s quote: Hero: “Anyone who has put their life on the line serving this country”. JROD Jared’s Dad, Joe Landaker is a retired CHP Officer. This foundation keeps the memory of the Seven Crew members who died serving our country alive. I encourage you to share their story. Submitted by Rick Sanders

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