CONCORD, CA, US
MAJ, CO B, 96TH CIVIL AFFAIRS BN, 95TH CIVIL AFFAIRS BDE, FORT BRAGG, NC
07/05/2007, BAGHDAD, IRAQ
Major James M. Ahearn was a 43 year-old Californian who bravely served in the US army for 18+ years. Before joining the Army, James, and his brother Kevin, were raised in Concord by their mother, Connie Ahearn. James lived in Concord from 1977 to 1982 and spent much of his time watching football and baseball, biking, and hiking. James entered the military in 1989 and had worked in several countries including: Germany, Korea, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. James also earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts from Diablo Valley College in 1988 and a bachelor’s degree from Campbell University.
James was stationed in Iraq in 2003 and during his time there met Lena who he married in 2005. After moving to North Carolina, James and Lena had one daughter named Kali. However, on July 5, 2007, James was sent to Iraq for the third time. James’s vehicle came in contact with an explosive device while in Baghdad and both James and Sergeant Keith A. Kline, 24, from Oak Harbor, Ohio were killed by the explosion.
James had spent much of his time trying to provide toys for the children in Iraq. His brother Kevin recalls emails from James asking him to send toys to Baghdad; “He never asked for anything for himself, it was always about the kids.”
On July 20, 2008, family, soldiers, and friends gathered to pay tribute to the generous man who gave so much to others. Roughly 300 people attended the John F. Kennedy Memorial Chapel to pay respect to James and an additional 100 soldiers and friends sat in the parking lot and watched the service on televisions. James was buried at the Arlington National Cemetery after a life spent supporting the morals he believed in. His wife remembers; “Jimmy was the greatest gift I ever had. He was the strongest and bravest man I ever saw in my life. I will never regret marrying him and moving to the US.” James has touched countless lives and will forever be remembered as the man who sacrificed whatever he could to help.