My condolences to Sgt. Cahir’s family. It’s even tough to hear news that his wife is pregnant with twins, and he was 40 years old.
What is your opinion on the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan Wars?
Former Express-Times correspondent and U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Bill Cahir has been killed in combat in Afghanistan, family and friends said Thursday.
The Marine Corps could not immediately confirm Cahir’s death. A casualty branch officer at Headquarters Marine Corps said a staff sergeant had been assigned to the family but efforts failed to reach the staff sergeant.
A friend of the family said Cahir’s wife, Rene, was told that Cahir, 40, was killed in Afghanistan’s Helmand River Valley. The friend said Cahir had been deployed in the spring.Cahir’s wife is expecting twins, according to Deborah Howell, Cahir’s former boss at Newhouse News Service.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Marines were meeting heavy resistance in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand. The fighters continued into the town of Dahaneh despite roadside bombs and gunfire.
Cahir enlisted with the Marine Corps Reserves in 2003, despite that at 34 years old he was bumping up against the military’s age limit.
Howell called Cahir’s determination to enter the Marine Corps a late calling in his life. Despite her attempts to talk him out of it, she said Cahir was steadfast in his decision to enlist.
“He just had to do it. And finally, you know, you just have to say I understand you have to do this,” Howell said. “He regretted nothing.”
Express-Times Editor Joseph P. Owens said Cahir was determined to serve his country after the Sept. 11 attacks rocked the nation. Owens said word of Cahir’s death “stunned and devastated” him.
“Bill Cahir was a great American. The horror of the murders of 9/11 inspired him to do service to this country,” Owens said Thursday. “He did everything he could to become an active serviceman. And he accomplished his dream.”
Cahir served two tours in Iraq in Ramadi and Fallujah from August 2004 to March 2005 and then again in Fallujah from September 2006 to April 2007.
Cahir worked as a Washington, D.C., correspondent for The Express-Times from the late 1990s before leaving his beat to join the Marines and then run for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District in 2008. He lost in the Democratic primary.