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In Memorium: Bill Cahir

Posted by Cynthia B on 08/17 at 12:29 PM

Central Pennsylvania residents were shocked last week to learn of the death of Marine sergeant Bill Cahir in Afghanistan.

Cahir was a State College Area High School alum and a Penn State grad.  Local folks who didn’t know him personally likely remember Cahir from the 2008 primary; he was one of the three Democratic candidates for the 5t h Congressional District seat vacated by John Peterson. One of Cahir’s platform points was advocating for those who serve in the military. He knew whereof he spoke: at the time, Cahir had served two tours of duty in Iraq. “If there were more veterans in Congress, “ he said in one interview, “more people who had some understandings of the threat, maybe you would have better outcomes in terms of policy”

Cahir’s personal story is inspiring.  He was well advanced in a successful career as a journalist when, after 9/11, he became determined to join the Marines.  In his mid-30s, he was days away from being too old to enlist.

He served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a civil affairs officer—a point of contact for local citizens. 

As Cahir so often had to explain to the media, his name is pronounced “care.”  And he did—he devoted his life to serving others.

Cahir was killed during an action in Helmund province aimed at increasing security for citizens before this week’s presidential elections in Afhanistan.

“I guess it’s irony,” said Family friend David Price on Friday, “that somebody who ran for office and really valued the American way of life and protecting it if fighting the war on terrorism would lose his life while fighting for the Afghanis’ right to a fair election.

If you’d like to hear Cahir on the campaign trail, here’s a link: http://podcasts.wpsu.org/audio/5th_District_Cahir_040808.mp3

Author: Cynthia B
Bio: WPSU-FM Producer

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