Antioch soldier killed in Iraq

March 18, 2010 4:15:20 PM PDT
A north suburban soldier on his second tour in Iraq was killed in a vehicular accident earlier this week.

Richard "Joe" Jordan, 29, graduated from Antioch Community High School in 1998. He was a member of the football team and on the high school newspaper staff.

"This is a kid who had so much to give, so much to offer, and it's gone," said Michael Gordy, Jordan's former teacher. "When I saw it, it was like somebody just kicked me in the stomach."

Jordan played on the high school football team and served as a volunteer assistant coach before going on to play at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

"He always had a smile on his face. People really like him. He'd always go the extra mile whatever needed to get done," said Steve Schoenfelder, Jordan's former football coach. "I think we're going to create a new award to present to his football player at the end of the season that exemplifies his character and the work effort he put in with the team and as a teammate.

Gordy said Jordan had just sent him an email in which he wrote about his work and his family. Jordan's advisor said Jordan was proud to be in the military and proud to be part of something larger than himself.

Jordan, who was an Army staff sergeant and recruiter, was killed while on patrol in northern Iraq. The Pentagon says the vehicle he was in rolled over.

"It was a rollover accident. it was a rollover of some type of military vehicle," said Tom Jordan, uncle.

Jordan is survived by his wife and two young daughters, who live in the Detroit area. His family now lives in Cincinnati.

Although most current Antioch high students have never heard of Jordan, his death is being felt this afternoon by the faculty and staff.

"I keep looking at all the kids and I'm thinking where's the next Joe Jordan? I don't think see another quite like him," said Gordy.