Liberalism is a Mental Disorder (AKA Politics Suck)

A blog dedicated to holding our politicians accountable to We The People.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Farewell American Hero

Tucsonan, 20, killed on his last day in Iraq
By Carol Ann Alaimo
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 02.06.2007

There is never a good time to lose a loved one at war, but for the family of Army Spc. Alan McPeek, fate seemed especially cruel.

The 20-year-old Tucsonan was killed in action Friday on his last day in Iraq — which also happened to be his mother's birthday.

McPeek's family had been planning his welcome home party when word came that the young combat engineer, and the replacement he'd been training, died together in Ramadi last Friday, hit by enemy forces with small-arms fire.

"It hurts so bad," the soldier's mother, 42-year-old Navy veteran Rose Doyle, said late Monday, shortly after the Defense Department announced the deaths.

"I would like for our elected people to stop talking and stop debating, and do something, please, do something. Because it's getting worse over there, and my son saw that it was getting worse," she said.

McPeek, a 2004 graduate of Mountain View High School, was the 27th service member with Southern Arizona ties to be claimed by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He was the fifth former Mountain View student felled, a sad distinction for the local high school that has seen more war casualties than any other.

Since the weekend, friends and relatives have been converging on the family's Northwest Side home, many travelling from out of town to show their support.

"This is so devastating that, without them, I just don't know what we'd do," Doyle said.

"We're just kind of stunned by this whole thing," added her husband, Kevin Doyle.
Kevin Doyle said McPeek enlisted at age 17 because "he decided he didn't like what was going on over there and he wanted to make a difference."

Asked if McPeek felt he had made a difference, family members said it was hard for the soldier to think so, since he'd spent most of his time at an outpost near Ramadi that was such a hotbed of insurgent activity it had once been used as an al-Qaida hideout.

"He was in a very dangerous place," Kevin Doyle said. "He didn't see a lot of good happening there. He saw a lot of bad things going on."

McPeek was assigned to the 16th Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, at Giessen, Germany.

In his high school years, he may have seemed an unlikely candidate for the regimentation of military life. McPeek was a nonconformist given to flamboyant self-expression, family members said.

"He probably went through three different hair colors, and the styles went from long to spiky. One time it was gold, another time it was almost pure white.

"At his going away party, his friends and family took turns cutting off locks of his hair, getting him ready for his first buzz cut," Kevin Doyle recalled.

But the Army seemed to agree with McPeek in many ways, and he was about to be promoted to sergeant when he died, family members said.

McPeek worked at an Eegees on the Northwest Side during high school, and was involved in Pop Warner football for several years, they said.

"He had hundreds and hundreds of friends. He was just loved by everybody," Kevin Doyle said. "He was a joker. He always had a smile on his face."

Many were pals from his Mountain View days, Kevin Doyle said in a posting on McPeek's page on myspace.com.

"Every time he was home it was like a Mountain View reunion. Many of you have been in our home, and it was always very clear to me that he had chosen good kids to be friends with. You all are the reason he so wanted to get the hell out of Iraq," he wrote in a message to the fallen soldier's friends.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but McPeek will be laid to rest in Tucson, where he had lived since age 2, his family said. He was born in Hawaii while his mother served in the Navy there. He has a 13-year-old sister.

"We were offered the choice of a burial at Arlington National Cemetery," Kevin Doyle said. "But we chose to bring him home."

A sad story to be sure, but this man is an American hero...and his memory will live on as one who died fighting for freedom and democracy. I salute you sir, may you rest in peace and God receive you in heaven with Glory and Triumph! Let not your death be in vain, may God favor your brothers in arms to finish the tough job we started.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sooo very sorry for the family and friends of this "gorgeous" young man that so bravely gave his life for his country's sake. Please know that his death was not in vain!

I salute and thank him!

God be with the family and give them strength and comfort!

09 February, 2007 21:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is very tragic that this young man died, and I hope that every soldier in Iraq is able to survive the war safely and intact.

However, we must not forget that many many innocent Iraqis are dying every day. We must remember that those are people, with hopes and dreams just like us, and are often merely collateral damage. We should pray for them as well as our troops.


10 February, 2007 12:25  
Blogger LiberalismIsAMentalDisorder said...

Well said Nick...well said

11 February, 2007 10:53  
Anonymous Bev said...

I just came across this blog. The tears came immediately when I read about Army Spc. Alan McPeek. I pray for God to continuously infold his family in His compassionate and consoling arms.

18 February, 2007 09:53  

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