MEXICO, ME, US
PFC, TROOP B, 1ST SQ, 61ST CAV REGT, 4 BCT, FORT CAMPBELL, KY
11/29/2010, PACHIR WA AGAM DISTRICT, AFGHANISTAN
Private First Class Buddy Wendall McLain was a Cavalry Scout, who joined the Army in May 2009 and arrived at Fort Campbell in October 2009. Private First Class McLain was among those soldiers who were who were ambushed and killed by a lone Afghan Border Patrol policeman at a remote Observation Post in the Nangarhar province. An incident referred to as “green on blue”.
One of three brothers, Private First Class McLain graduated from Mountain Valley High School in Rumford. Private First Class McLain graduated in 2006, and was a good student who was proud of his reading abilities and liked to read out loud in class. Just as thousands of wreaths made in Maine were being placed on graves at Arlington National Cemetery and around the nation, hundreds of people gathered at Mountain Valley High School to pay tribute to Private First Class McLain, “who put his life where his heart was,” according to Pastor John Gensel who officiated at the service.
“This is a sad day for America and for the McLain family,” U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe said outside the high school. Senator Snowe came “to express my deepest sympathy on behalf of the state and country to the entire family in a profound gratitude and indebtedness that we feel as a nation with respect to his heroism, courage and the ultimate sacrifice to our country.”
“We are the greatest nation on earth because of people like Private First Class Buddy McLain, and we want to make sure the family knows how awe-inspired we are of his selfless service to our nation,” she added.
Chelsea McLain is the 20 year old widow of Private First Class McLain. Owen is their 15-month-old son. Chelsea McLain shared her last face-to-face conversation with her husband on August 23rd — the day before he deployed — about what might happen to him.
“He went on to say, ‘You’re crazy. I can’t stop bullets. It can happen to anyone. If it’s my time, it’s my time to die,’” she said.
Chelsea said her husband told her that he had accepted death and was “no longer afraid to die.” He said, “I can’t promise my safe return home, but I can promise you this: I will see you again, in life or death. I will be in the gates waiting for you if I get there before you.”
She said she replied, “I love you so much it hurts. You’re an amazing father and lover. I am so blessed to have met you and had you in my life, even if it was four short years. “
“I can promise you from this day on, you will always be mine and Owen’s hero. I will tell him all the amazing things about Daddy and all the fun we used to have.” Chelsea said she would always carry Buddy with her in her heart and mind.
Buddy’s father, Larry McLain added: “When my son went away, he went away a boy, and every time he came home, he came home more of a man.”
Brigadier General Michael H. Shields, eulogized Buddy as “a Maine boy who served his country in time of need. Buddy wasn’t just any soldier, he was a Cavalry Scout from 4th Brigade of the elite 101st Airborne Division,” BG Shields explained. And he quoted an officer at Buddy’s memorial service in Afghanistan, who said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better soldier.”