MacDill Honor Escort for Army PFC Michael Mahr

Army Pfc. Michael Mahr of Homosassa was killed March 22 when his vehicle in Logar Province, Afghanistan was attacked with explosives and small arms fire. His family flew to Dover to be there for his return.

Community patriots assemble along Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard each time an Honor Escort brings a fallen warrior home.

This morning, the community will welcome home the fallen warrior. The Angel Flight bringing Mahr home is due to land at MacDill Air Force Base today at 10:45. Military personnel, staff and members of the MacDill Enlisted Spouses Club will line the streets on base to pay tribute to Mahr and his family.

The Honor Escort will exit the base and drive north on Bayshore Boulevard where members of the Troop Support Alliance and The Lutz Patriots will wave flags and note his return at the Colonnade Restaurant, 3401 Bayshore. The public is invited to join the groups in paying tribute to the Mahr family.

The escort will travel north on Bayshore Boulevard, east on Platt Street Bridge, north on Florida Avenue, east on Jackson, north on Jefferson, north on Cass to the northbound I-275 entrance.

So, if you work in downtown Tampa, take a moment to go outside and note the passing of the Mahr’s Honor Escort. The procession will head north on I-275 to I-75 and Purcell Funeral Home, 114 West Noble Ave., Bushnell.

Mahr was assigned to the 54th Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade, Bamberg, Germany which held a separate memorial service. The 26-year-old soldier is survived by his wife, his 3-year-old son, a twin brother, Matthew, and a lot of other family.

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Supreme Court Splits on Rulings Involving the Military

In a majority ruling, the land’s highest court said that religious picketers are within their rights to protest at military funerals. Below is a news alert from this morning courtesy of the Washington Post:

The Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount attention-getting, anti-gay protests outside military funerals.

The court voted 8-1 Wednesday in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The decision upheld an appeals court ruling that threw out a $5 million judgment to the father of a dead Marine who sued church members after they picketed his son’s funeral. For the full story click here.

But on the flip side, just yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the military. Nina Totenberg from National Public Radio reports on two different rulings where the justices sided with military personnel in a job discrimination case and the other involved a veteran who was denied VA benefits due to a late appeals filing.

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