Homosassa Loses a Second Young Man in Afghanistan War

Army Pfc. Michael C. Mahr, 26, of Homosassa was killed Tuesday in Logar province, Afghanistan. Mahr and  Staff Sgt. Joshua S. Gire, 28, of Chillicothe, Ohio suffered fatal wounds when “enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire,” according to a Department of Defense press release. 

They were assigned to the 54th Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade, Bamberg, Germany. Mahr is survived by his wife, his 3-year-old son, a twin brother, Matthew, and a lot of other family.

Tampa Tribune reporter Howard Altman has talked with Mahr’s family who shared some touching moments. That’s one of a reporter’s hardest assignments and it’s unimaginably more difficult for the family.

So instead of duplicating efforts, I will link to the article by Howard Altman on his blog, Command Post Tampa.

The St. Petersburg Times also has an story about Mahr. He is the second member of the military from Homosassa to die while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom. Marine Cpl. John Taylor, 23, was killed by an improvised explosive device in Helmand Province in February.

Their service should be honored and their loss noted by all. As my tribute, I am posting a photograph of a rose. It is significant in two ways. First, it should serve as a reminder to all – take time to stop and smell the roses – enjoy the small pleasures in life. Secondly, the rose bush was a gift commemorating the day we buried my father-in-law, Army Col. Rene Quenneville, at Arlington National Cemetery.

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