Former Reporter Cahir Killed in Afghanistan

By: Sgt. Bill Cahir, a former news reporter and congressional candidate, has been killed in Afghanistan while serving with the Marines, a family friend said Thursday. He was 40.

The friend, June Weaver, answered the telephone at a relative's house and confirmed Cahir's death to The Associated Press but said the family did not wish to comment.

Cahir was lauded at a newspaper where he used to work.

"This is an American hero as far as I'm concerned," said Joe Owens, editor of The Express-Times, of Easton, Pa. "This guy's the real thing."

Cahir, a Bellefonte, Pa., native, was working in the newspaper's Washington, D.C., bureau. Owens said Cahir enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 2003 in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"He was in his mid-30s, only days away from being ineligible?too old?to sign up for the Marine Corps, and he essentially talked his way in because it was something he had to do," Owens said.

Cahir did two tours of duty in Iraq before returning to Pennsylvania.

He ran in a three-way Democratic primary last year to replace longtime Republican Rep. John Peterson, who retired. Clearfield County Commissioner Mark McCracken won the primary and was in turn defeated by Republican Glenn Thompson in the overwhelmingly Republican district, which covers a large area of north-central Pennsylvania.

The Express-Times reported that after losing the primary, Cahir said, "My
journalism career is over. I'll talk to the Marine Corps and see what they want me to do and talk to my wife and see what she wants me to do."

Owens called the former newspaperman "a great American."

"He was committed to serving this country," Owens said. "He was on a career path before this that could have led anywhere for him, and he chose this because it was what he needed to do."


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here