Muslim Military Members
Information for Muslims in the US Armed Forces
Sign Up!
Login
Welcome to Muslim Military Members
Sunday, November 18 2018 @ 10:13 PM EST

Army major dies in attack - James Michael Ahearn

By April Johnston, Staff writer, Fayetteville Observer

Her mother warned her: A soldier’s business is war. There is no safety. There are no guarantees.

But the Iraqi daughter loved the American officer.

And so, in 2005 — two years after they met in Iraq — she left her country to move to his and become his wife.

And on Thursday — four years after her mother’s warning — Lena Ahearn became a widow.
Her husband, Maj. James Michael Ahearn, 43, was killed in Baghdad when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb. Sgt. Keith A. Kline, 24, of Oak Harbor, Ohio, was also killed in the attack.

“Jimmy was the greatest gift I ever had,” Lena said Sunday from the couple’s home in Raeford. “I will never regret marrying him for two years and moving to the United States.”

Ahearn, who had served in the Army for 18 years, and Kline were assigned to the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade at Fort Bragg.

This was Ahearn’s third time in Iraq.

It was during the second tour that he met Lena. She loved the way he looked in his uniform and the way he used his own money to buy toys for Iraqi children.

When they married, Ahearn offered to convert to Islam for his bride.

“I only want you to convert if you believe in it,” Lena told him.

He did.

And he used that belief to try to bridge the cultural gap between American soldiers and the Iraqi people on his third tour of Iraq.

“He told them there are no differences between people,” Lena said.

But his message of tolerance did not reach everyone. And Lena said she is ashamed, knowing her husband died in her country at the hands of her people.

She told the casualty assistance officers that came to her home Thursday to tell her of her husband’s death that she wanted to become an American citizen.

It would have made him proud.

“He was the strongest and bravest man I ever saw in my life,” she said.

And one of the most sentimental. When he was home, Ahearn bought Lena a card, a flower and a doughnut every Sunday morning.

And on the rare occasion he forgot to buy a card, he’d hang a love note on the refrigerator or hide one in the kitchen cabinet.

Lena got her last love note in March, just before Ahearn left for Iraq. He was scheduled to return in September and to retire from the Army in 2009.

Before he left, he said one of his greatest fears was that his 17-month-old daughter, Kadi, wouldn’t recognize him when he returned.

“He was afraid always that she would forget him,” Lena said. “I hope she does not.”

http://www.fayobserver.com/print?id=266969&type=article

Staff writer April Johnston can be reached at johnstona@fayobserver.com or 323-4848, ext. 384.

Story Options

Trackback

Trackback URL for this entry: http://www.muslimmilitarymembers.org/trackback.php?id=20070711120318540

No trackback comments for this entry.

0 comments

Welcome to the Muslim Military Members!

The MMM is an organization providing information, communication, and coordination for Muslims in the US Armed Forces.

To become a member, simply register as a new user. New members should register with their .mil account for automatic approval. If a non .mil mail account is used, you will be asked to further identify yourself before your membership is approved.

Click here to contact us

My Account





Sign up as a New User
Lost your password?

Forumposts

Order: New Views Posts
Latest 5 Forum Posts
 
POC in Kuwait
 By:  Dawud Makonnen
 On:  Saturday, October 03 2009 @ 09:59 AM EDT
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: As-Salaamu alayk..
 By:  Muslim Military Members Webmaster
 On:  Saturday, October 03 2009 @ 08:23 AM EDT
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: Muslim's reactio..
 By:  Robert Lamon
 On:  Sunday, August 30 2009 @ 08:35 PM EDT
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: Muslim's reactio..
 By:  Keith Williams
 On:  Sunday, August 30 2009 @ 09:01 AM EDT
 Views 0 Replies 0
Re: Ramadan
 By:  Keith Williams
 On:  Sunday, August 30 2009 @ 08:22 AM EDT
 Views 0 Replies 0

Random Image

What's New

Stories

No new stories

Comments last 2 days

No new comments

Trackbacks last 2 days

No new trackbacks

Files last 14 days

No new files
No new comments

Links last 2 weeks

No new links

Media Gallery last 30 days

No new media items

Who's Online

Guest Users: 7