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No quotation today, just tears for children without their dads and wives without their husbands.

Thank, JaxDem and racheltracks, for being you.

                  Love and Hugs,
                       For Dan,
                       Heather

DOD Identifies Army Casualties

                The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died March 22, in Logar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device, rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire.

                Killed were:

                Staff Sgt. Joshua S. Gire, 28, of Chillicothe, Ohio.

                Pfc. Michael C. Mahr, 26, of Homosassa, Fla.

                They were assigned to the 54th Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade, Bamberg, Germany.

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Staff Sergeant Joshua S Gire

A third generation soldier, whose grandfather served in World War II, whose father served in Vietnam, Staff Sergeant Joshua Gire had army service "in his blood. He was very proud of what he was doing. He always wanted to serve." his cousin, Kellie Uhrig of Columbus said. Staff Sergeant Gire died on March 22, in Logar province Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit.

After graduating from Huntington High School, Gire enlisted in the army in 2001. He served tours of duty in Kosovo, Iraq and this was his second tour in Afghanistan. He had recently been promoted to Staff Sergeant.

"He was one that I never doubted was doing his job and doing it correctly, so I always envisioned him coming home more than anyone else," Gire's cousin, Jason Uhrig, told Gazette news partner 10TV.

Dan Riddle, guidance counselor at Huntington High School, told 10TV Gire was "a great role model for some of our younger kids."

"I would take 100 more students exactly like Josh," Riddle said.

"He loved his wife, he loved his family and he was very proud of what he was doing," Uhrig said.

Left behind, to mourn Staff Sergeant Gire, are his wife, Jackie, his son, Nicholas, who is five years old, his daughter, Riley, who just turned three on Friday, his dad, Paul Gire Sr., his mom, Peggy Hunt,  older brother, Paul Gire Jr. and half-brothers Mike Donahue and Jon Hunt, stepfather Dale Hunt, and stepsisters Beth Hunt and Sandy Bourne, his cousins, Kellie and Jason, and other relatives and friends and loved ones.

"It's so difficult," Uhrig said. "We all loved Josh."

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Pfc Michael C Mahr

"I am a good soldier and I am coming home." That was what Pfc Michael C Mahr told his wife, Stephanie, on every phone call. Heartbreakingly, Pfc. Mahr was killed on March 22, along with Staff Sergeant Joshua C. Gire, when enemy troops attacked their unit.

Stephanie Mahr talked with her husband nearly every day, even if only for ten minutes, not only so she could connect with him, but also so their three year old son, Jadon, could. Their last conversation was on Monday, during which Pfc. Gire told her that he had an upcomign mission. Mrs. Mahr had a bad feeling about the mission, which proved to be true. "His Army buddies called him 'Superman.' He didn't have any fear."

Pfc. Mahr also leaves a twin brother, Matthew, from whom he was inseperable during their growing up, sharing that special bond of twins. You seldom saw one without the other,'' Sumpter High School football coach Stewart says. "If you saw one, the other was within 10 feet."

Michael Mahr "was your typical 26-year-old video game junkie," recalls his mother. "He loved X-Box. He loved the Gators. Loved, loved the Gators. He liked to go to rock concerts."

Pfc Mahr enlisted on April 26, 2010, and at first went to Germany. He came home and left for Afghanistan on Nov. 2, Jadon's third birthday.

Stephanie Mahr says she doesn't know her son will react to seeing the plane either.

"He knows a military plane will be here," she says. "And I have explained to him what is going to happen, but I don't think he will fully understand. He misses his daddy terribly."

If you would like to honour the memory of Pfc. Mahr, Mrs. Mahr asks that you donate phone cards to the troops, so they can stay in touch with their families. I imagine that Staff Sergeant Gire's family would be equally appreciative.

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The purpose of the I Got the News Today series is to honor service members who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; its title is a reminder that almost every day a military family gets the terrible news about a loved one.
Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and is currently maintained by Sandy on Signal, monkeybiz, noweasels, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, roses, SisTwo, a girl in MI, Spam Nunn, JeNoCo, Janos Nation, True Blue Majority, CalNM, Wide Awake in KY, maggiejean, racheltracks, and Jax Dem.
Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members chronicled here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.

Originally posted to Standing for justice and accountability, for Dan on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:55 PM PDT.

Also republished by IGTNT and IGTNT Advisory Group.

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