DERRY, NH, US
U.S. Marine Corps
LCPL, 2D BN 9TH MAR, (RCT-1, I MEF FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
12/08/2010, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
As her only child, Michael was extremely close to his mother, Nancy. Family members would often tease her she worshipped her son. They were each other’s confidant, although, his mother made the decision not to tell Mike about the loss of her position at Elliot Hospital in Manchester last month nor of the death of his grandmother, Louise Buiting, the day before Thanksgiving. She and other family members knew he would worry about these things, and they thought he would stay focused and therefore safer of he didn’t have these things to be concerned about. The decision was made in part as a few days before Thanksgiving, Mike had called home to speak with his mother so she wouldn’t worry about him, He informed her he was part of a mission detail that would not allow him to contact anyone for a while, Mike told his mom, “If I don’t call you, that’s good.”
Mike enlisted at the age of eighteen, it being no surprise to his father he planned to do so. Speaking of his son, Tim Geary recalled, “Since he was fourteen, it was all he talked about. I asked him why the Marines. His response was, ‘Because they’re the best.’ The Marine Corps was everything to him. Mike was kind and thoughtful, for a kid his age, he had his head on pretty straight,’’ Tim said of his cherished son. He also spoke of trips when the two would fish together. “We had a cookout just before he went away. The last time I actually saw him and spoke to him in person was the week he left.’’ He also shared his son’s love of running, and had joined a fitness club with his son just prior to Mike’s combat deployment.
Shannon Brandano, reflected on her memories of her nephew, “He was an old soul, he just knew exactly what he wanted in his life, and there was no room for skepticism. For a person of such a young age to articulate that, and to have such a clear sense of direction, is just amazing to me. Mike doted on his mother and was a role model for some of the younger family members at gatherings.” One time at a family cookout, her own son, fourteen at the time, looked up to his elder cousin. “My son did not leave his side; he was just mesmerized by him, … he just had an infectious personality.’’
Angus Douglas has been impressed with his sister-in-law and her ability to cope with so many things happening in an relatively short amount of time. “Nancy has been really strong,” he remarked. As the designated family spokesman he has expressed the gratitude of the family for the abundance of condolences and concern from their surrounding neighbors, friends, and general public. “It has been both overwhelming and humbling to see the outpouring from the community. This helps us all, especially those of us who have sons and daughters over there. It reminds all of us that we’re paying for the freedoms we have.”
In speaking of what the family has been told in regard to Mike’s death, Angus communicated the family has been told by the Marine Corps spokespeople Mike was part of a mission detail, 8 December 2010, tasked to take an enemy stronghold in the mountains of in the Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. The 20-year-old Lance Corporal from Derry, was due to be rotated out of the combat zone to return home within a matter of weeks, having been deployed in Afghanistan since July.
“I am saddened by Mike’s death because he was so young, a young man people could admire for his conviction and his accomplishment.” Joseph Dion, a teacher from Pinkerton Academy, where Mike graduated in 2009, expressed in a written statement. “But like so many other Marines I have known, his sacrifice reinforces for me why we should not take for granted the men and women who have served and continue to serve in our armed forces.’’
Deployed with Second Battalion, Ninth Marine Regiment, Second Marine Division, Second Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Lance Corporal Michael E. Geary departed this life during combat action occurring while on a mission detail, 8 December 2010, tasked to take an enemy stronghold in the mountains of in the Helmand province in southern Afghanistan
Awards and medals earned by L/Cpl Michael Geary include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.