The father of a Marine corporal presumed dead at sea says it was his son’s childhood dream to serve.
"That's all he talked about,” said Gregory Spears in a phone interview with NBC 7. “Then his senior year in high school, in fact, he was still 17 when he went to see the recruiter."
Cpl. Jordan L. Spears, 21, of Memphis, Indiana, was the first member of his family to join the military, his father said.
The Navy called off the search for Jordan on Thursday, 24 hours after he ejected into the Persian Gulf from an MV-22B Osprey that lost power.
“That was the longest and the worst time because we held out such hope for his safe rescue,” Gregory said. “But then as the time drug on and the longer it got, the hope began to fade."
Gregory Spears said water was the least of Jordan's concerns because his son was a lifeguard in high school and always a strong swimmer.
Jordan was assigned to Marine Tiltrotor Squadron 163, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. In July, he deployed with USS Makin Island to support U.S. military operations in the Middle East.
Besides his parents, Jordan leaves behind five siblings, including a twin. His father said he doesn’t know how they could get through this tough time without support from the Marine Corps.
“They say they'll be with us as long as we need them and trust me, it's a very difficult time," Gregory said.
The family is planning a private memorial service for Jordan.