Just this past week I reported on the fortunate "Grace" our Iowa Guardsmen had received in their days in Afghanistan. While this puts a spin on that assertion, I still feel we have been blessed to have suffered so few casualties. For the Maher family, I'm not sure they'd come to the same conclusion.....today. That's why it is so important for us.....all of us to think, pray and act as a support system for them in the days, weeks and months ahead.
I was uplifted to read a statement from the Maher family this morning. Despite the suffering they are undergoing, they see the big picture. "Brent died doing what he loved, serving his country and protecting the freedom that we enjoy and providing the people of Afghanistan with the opportunity for freedom," the statement said.
|Spc. Brent Maher|
Three other soldiers in the truck were injured. They were identified as Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Jedlicka, 31, of Council Bluffs; Spc. Justin Christiansen, 24, of Nebraska City, Neb.; and Spc. Dustin Morrison, 20, of New Market. Their conditions are not known at this time, but Hapgood said they would be transferred to a hospital in Germany. The four guardsmen were stationed at Combat Outpost Dand Patan, a location next to the border of Pakistan. They were members of B Company of the 1st Battalion of the 168th Infantry Regiment based in Shenandoah.
Maher is survived by his wife, Brenna M. Maher, of Honey Creek; daughters Kaitelyn, Elizabeth and Hannah Rose, and a son, Matthew Douglas, 8, all of Niles, Mich.; his mother, Cheryl L. Tyner and step-father Mick Tyner, both of Essex, Ia.; a brother, Greg Maher, of Biloxi, Miss.; and grandparents Roy and Wilma McGraw, of Essex, Ia. He was preceded in death by his father, Matthew Maher. Funeral arrangements are pending for the Maher funeral.
Back on the battle front, I'm sure there is a different set of emotions being experienced by Iowa National Guard troops than one week ago. Our servicemen and women will remain steadfast in the duty they've accepted. Missions will continue.....ambushes will also be a part of the day......and of course IED's will remain in their hidden traps. My prayer would be for safety in these next months. The loss of one life is one too many to have to endure......