Spike TV’s tatoo reality competition Ink Master recently honored fallen Sag Harbor Marine Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, who was killed at 19 years old while defending a checkpoint in Ramadi, Iraq on April 22, 2008. Haerter’s father Christian Haerter appeared in the show’s 11th episode of Season 3, called “Heroes and Heads,” in which the competition’s five remaining tatoo artists honored military heroes, alive and dead, with engraved dogtags while on the deck of the U.S.S Intrepid aircraft carrier in Manhattan.
Tatoo artist Jime Litwalk created dogtags for Haerter featuring the Navy Cross and symbols from his son’s unit, the 1st battalion 9th marines of the United States Marine Corps. Lance Cpl. Haerter earned the Navy Cross posthumously for standing his ground when a suicide bomber attacked his base in Ramadi, sacrificing his life for those of many marines and Iraqi police, had the bomber been able to pass.
Haerter and Litwalk shared some touching moments during the consultation, and the finished dog tags ended up winning the day’s competition, giving Litwalk an advantage in the main tatoo event later in the episode. Before the two men parted, Haerter gave Litwalk a coin commemorating his son’s service to the country and his battalion.
Ink Master is judged by tatoo artists Oliver Peck and Chris Nunez, and rocker Dave Navarro, guitarist for Jane’s Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The show’s final three tatoo artists compete for the “Ink Master” title in the 2-hour season finale this Tuesday, at 10 p.m. on the Spike network.
Check out some highlights from the episode below. Click here to see more.