Tag Archives: pfc aaron fairbairn

In Loving Memory of PFC Aaron E Fairbairn

In Loving Memory

Private First Class

Aaron E. Fairbairn

February 2, 1898 ~ Yakima. Washington
July 4, 2009 ~ Paktika, Afghanistan

Funeral Service

11:00 o’clock, Saturday. July 18, 2009
Aberdeen High School ~ Sam Benn Gym

Officiating

Pastors Doug Marks & Jake Broady

Private Family Graveside Service
with Full Military Honors

Sunset Memorial Park
Hoquiam, Washington

Pallbearers

Andy Johnson, Justin Fairbairn, Gail Cross, Jesse Cross, Daniel Oszman, Kenny Bensinger

After Glow

“I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an after glow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun
of happy memories that I leave when life is done.”

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is the day that we honor those who have served in the United States Armed Services consisting of the military services of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

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To those who have served and continue to serve, we offer up a huge debt of gratitude and heart-felt honor from those of us, the citizenry of the United States of America, whom you serve in our stead.

There have been times when serving in the US Armed Services was not an option. Those of us who are old enough, saw our friends and family mandated to serve in the military, forced to fight on our behalf by law, sometimes against their will. Regardless, whether a veteran volunteered or was drafted, you were placed in a position – that for whatever reason – I and my fellow Americans were spared.

You, our United States Veterans are the true heroes of our nation and in my opinion deserve the highest respect and honor.

On July 4, 2009 PFC Aaron Fairbairn was called upon by the President of the United States and God Almighty to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Years have passed since then, and the pain of that day is still ever present, though my thoughts of what took place on Aaron’s fateful day have run the gamut. I have had other relatives who served though they lived long enough to be honored on this day. Though I knew there would be times Aaron would be at risk, I expected him to return to American soil, as did my other relatives.

When I talked to him on the phone the evening of July third (after a period of imposed “radio silence” during which he was not allowed to call) he assured me that everything was okay. During that short phone conversation we talked and laughed before exchanging I-love-you(s) as he longed to phone other friends also while he had time. None of us had any idea that it was going to be the last time we would talk.

Though we honor all who have served, are serving and some are volunteering even as I type these words, some have made and will make the ultimate sacrifice carrying out their oath of service. For Aaron and all those who were called upon to deliver this fateful level of service, America honors them on Memorial Day.

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I can’t help to imagine what it must have been like for Aaron and his brothers in arms in the Battle of COP Zerok Paktika in Afghanistan that ensued that day, but it must have been horrifying. As unimaginable as it is for me to think that Aaron was having to draw fire on the enemy, I couldn’t help but think the young man who was shooting at him was someone else’s son, who also made the same sacrifice for what he believed in that day.

No matter what you think of war or the military in general, it can be a very nasty business and thanks to Aaron and all who have served, the rest of us are able to have the freedoms we are offered by the USA while we are spared the potential horror and/or loss of life thanks to their service.

To all Veterans:

May God bless everyone who has taken the States Armed Services oath of service. I will be forever grateful for your courage.

Thank you for your service.

This day, I feel that we are blood brothers and I honor you.

Remembering… Memorial Day

That’s what Memorial Day is… a day to reverently reflect on those who have served and paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.

For those who lost a loved one in service, every day is a memorial day.

Laying PFC Aaron Fairbairn to rest KIA July 4 2009 Afghanistan

Time does heal, things do get better and life goes on, if you can survive the tragedy.

Taps in honor of memorial day Aaron Fairbairn thankyouaaronToday, I can look at a flag waving in the breeze without letting a tear drop. I can walk up to military staff in public, shake their hand and tank them for their service fairly easily. Taps (the haunting single-trumpet or bulge song played at military funerals) will always be a haunting tune for our family.

For our family, Memorial Day is a solemn time for remembering Aaron, the people that he served with, the others who gave their lives due to the same sequence of events that led them to answer the call, making the ultimate sacrifice and all other men and women who have served and given all for the greater good.

Behind the scenes, this last week, cemeteries along with veterans, boy scouts and other concerned people and organizations have visited the graves of all who have given their lives in service to our country and pre-decorated the gravesides for those who would come to visit.

If you’ve never don’t it before, visiting a decorated cemetery on Memorial Day touches your heart in a way that is difficult to explain. We go there to see Aaron, but to see such a high percentage of other gravesites marking those who have shared in Aaron’s heroism is deeply impactful.

This weekend friends and family travel to cemeteries all across the United States to pay their respects to those whom we honor this weekend, though there are many who have little regard for the reason behind Memorial Day and focus more on having the long weekend to have fun and frolic – which is, in fact, part of the meaning behind this weekend – for without the price for freedom being paid by others, we would not be able to enjoy the life we live in the USA.

In the morning on Memorial Day, flags will wave at half-mast, just like they did all over the State of Washington in honor of Aaron’s sacrifice; another image that is deeply felt by those who have share the loss of a loved one in military service.

In my brother’s town (Washington D.C.) the United States Capitol will be hosting the National Memorial Day Concert to honor the men and women who gave their lives for this country.

Taps will be played at Memorial Day flag ceremonies presented by Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Veteran’s organizations and other paramilitary organizations around America this weekend in honor of those who have paid the ultimate price.

All service people give of themselves, for which we are so grateful; this is a celebration of the lives of the heroes who have given all, making it possible for us to enjoy all this life has to offer.

Honoring All United States Veterans

It is that time of the year that we honor all who have served on the behalf of those Americans who did not have to step up to the plate directly because the real heroes have taken the risk of defending us. The least we could do is to offer our most sincere gratitude to those who have answered the call.

Honoring all United States Veterans Thank you for your service aaronfairbairnIt is due to the efforts of these men and women who have accepted the call that we enjoy the freedoms that we have as Americans, lest we forget that regardless of what our opinions may be, that many have fought and supported our right to have your independent beliefs and have offered us a degree of safety while we enjoy the lives that we lead in the United States of America.

Many have fought bravely and some have even paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.
Yes, PFC Aaron Fairbairn was a 20-year-old volunteer who willing accepted the responsibility and it cost him the ability to live the life that would have been fitting for such an honorable young man. Our hearts break every day, realizing that his strength and honor would mean that he would not marry, or lovingly raise children that would be a part of his legacy.

His legacy, like that of so many others, would be that of a hero; one who was willing to give his life for his friends, brothers in arms, relatives and fellow Americans. He is but one, but his sacrifice will long be remembered by many, as will the lives of others who preceded him in making the ultimate sacrifice and each one who has done so since.

Every day, many individuals perform a wide variety of functions to maintain peace of Americans with dignity and this day is set aside to honor them – each and every one of them – who have given a portion of their lives in support of our country and the greater good.

Thank you; every American who has served and those who are currently in service.

Today is your day.

May you all receive the respect for serving with strength and honor, just as Aaron did. My hope for you is that you enjoy all the benefits for the sacrifices you have made for us.

God bless you for your service, and I thank God for every one of you.

#thankyouaaron

 

Hero’s welcome for fallen soldier

By Keith Eldridge Published: Jul 14, 2009 at 4:54 PM PDT

HOQUIAM, Wash. — Pfc. Aaron Fairbairn left home to join the Army a year and a half ago. On Tuesday the body of the 20-year-old soldier was flown home and welcomed with full honors.
Fairbairn was serving in Afghanistan with the 4th Brigade Combat Team when a Taliban suicide bomber drove a truck full of explosives into his military camp on July 4.

His family had just talked with him the day before the attack after a week without contact because phones in the military base were down.

“You try not to think the worst, but it does come out and then we heard from him, it was great,” said Fairbairn’s brother, Beau Beck. “And 12 hours later we get the news. It’s just unbelievable.”

At Bowerman Field in Hoquiam on Tuesday, Patriot Guard Riders stood at attention as the flag-draped casket was lowered from a private jet provided by the military.

Fairbairn’s family and friends were there, along with people who’d never met the young solder but wanted to show their support.

“You can see the support,” Beck said. “He was a soldier and that’s a lot of it, but he has a lot of friends around here, and it was a great turnout to honor him.”

Beck was able to accompany his brother’s body on the flight back from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

“That was the biggest honor for me, as his brother, to fly back and bring him back to his hometown.”

John Harpe was among the motorcycle riders who took part in the ceremony honoring Fairbairn at the request of the soldier’s family.

“I want to let the military service know that the folks back home support them in every aspect of their lives, and we’ll be here in their darkest hour as well,” he said.

A procession of motorcycles, fire engines and private vehicles escorted Fairbairn’s body home from the airport.

“The community came out and showed their respect for a soldier, a brother a friend,” Beck said.

Fairbairn joined the Army after he graduated from Aberdeen High School, and a public memorial will be held there at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

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Source: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/50800952.html?tab=video&c=y

Memorial Day 2014

On Memorial Day we remember the fallen. Those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Remember-the-Fallen-Memorial-Day-2014-Aaron-FairbairnThere are so many who have given some and so many who have given all in the name of God and country.

On July 4th, 2009, PFC Aaron Fairbairn joined the ranks of the heroes who have he ultimate price on our behalf, so that we can live in a land that is free.

I am not the only person who would have gladly traded places with Aaron in that moment. Aaron was so loved and had so much to give that many would have rather taken his place so that the world would know how much he had to give to other privileged to share in his presence. But his journey was that of the honored hero by his choice and was his destiny.

There is not a more honorable challenge to any human who is willing to lay down his life for the benefit of his friends, and Aaron and so many others have accepted this charge that we remember on this day and are so grateful for their sacrifice.

In this way they have made such a significant impact on our lives, that is easy for us to overlook while we are content to work, play and relax in our neighborhoods and homes as others – even now – have elected to accept the difficult details for us, knowing that any breath they take might be their last.

This day, I join with all by brethren who have also lost a loved one in service to God and country, because the sacrifice is not only paid by the hero, but also evermore by each and everyone who love and cared for the… and are reminded of their sacrifice daily.

But on this day, we all stand hand-in-hand agreeing together regardless of our differences in gratitude of all who have fallen for us.

We honor, love and are grateful for each and every one, this Memorial Day (if not every day of) 2014. God bless all who have gone on to fight the fight from beyond, and all those who still feel the price of their heroism.

Remembering #thankyouaaron Killed on the 4th of July

On the evening of July 3rd, David Masters and his wife, Shelley, laughed in relief Friday when they learned their son, an Army private in Afghanistan, was just fine, busy working out and watching videos his family had sent.

Aaron-Fairbairn-Senior-PhotoThen, on Saturday, Fourth of July morning, an Army chaplain and soldier showed up at their Aberdeen house and told him Pvt. Aaron Fairbairn, 21, had been fatally injured in a truck bombing. Based on news accounts, Masters believes Fairbairn was one of two soldiers fatally injured when a Taliban insurgent drove an explosives-filled truck through the gates of a U.S. base in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province.

The Department of Defense had yet to confirm the identities of the two killed.

The news was devastating for a family that had come together a decade ago in a union mirroring the “Brady Bunch” clan: The marriage was the second for both Masters and his wife, who each had three kids roughly the same age. Fairbairn was Masters’ stepson.

“If there’s any day when you’re going to make that kind of sacrifice … ” Masters said, his voice tearfully trailing away. Finally, he said: “I realize Aaron’s just one guy coming home not sitting in a seat. Lots of other guys have made that same sacrifice.”

Sascha-Davidson-Aaron-Fairbairn-Jaycie-Wakefield-Tabitha-Bastien-Jeff-WakefieldUntil Fairbairn enlisted, family members would drop everything on the Fourth to assemble in Seaside, Oregon, an annual tradition. “For our family, it’s a really huge deal,” Masters said.

This year, Fairbairn’s mother, brother and sister flew to Dover, Del., on Independence Day so they could bring the young soldier’s remains back to Washington.

“At first I didn’t believe it,” said Beau Beck, Fairbairn’s oldest brother, who learned about his brother’s death while he was coaching a Little League team.

“I talked to Aaron probably 12 hours prior to that,” Beck said from Dover. “The first thing that rushed to my mind is that he’s so young and such a good kid.”

His stepfather described him as joyous, honest and dependable, the kid everyone knew first as the paperboy, then as a local lot attendant or the guy who worked at Papa Murphy’s Pizza.

Tim-Madding-Aaron-Fairbairn-Andrea-Madding-Ethan-MaddingFairbairn, a graduate of Aberdeen’s Weatherwax High, was an off-road enthusiast who loved riding dirt bikes and four-wheeling in his truck. He hadn’t yet decided what he wanted to do after the service but leaned toward mechanics.

After getting the news of Fairbairn’s death, Masters went online, sending out a post on social-networking service Twitter.

Masters noted that he would like to see his son’s sacrifice observed using the term #thankyouaaron. For a time late Saturday night his request was fulfilled and “#thankyouaaron” was the most-used term on Twitter, according to the Web site. Other Twitter posters by the thousands thanked Fairbairn and sent words of encouragement to his family.

Just last week, Masters and his wife felt reassured about Fairbairn’s well-being even though he was in Afghanistan. They had heard a report saying a U.S. soldier had been kidnapped. Because they hadn’t heard from Fairbairn in a while, Masters messaged him on the social-networking site MySpace, which his stepson used to stay in touch with family and friends.

“I told him he’d better call,” said Masters, an officer for the state Department of Corrections.

Aaron-Fairbairn-with-mortarWhen he finally did, Masters said, it turned out their youngest son hardly ever left the base, spending much of his free time watching the show “Heroes” on DVDs his family had shipped to Afghanistan.

“He was just glad to be over there making a few extra bucks so he could pay off his truck,” Masters said.

According to Associated Press reports, the attack on the base was part of a multipronged attack in the Paktika province and came as thousands of U.S. Marines in the country’s south continued with a massive anti-Taliban push.

Beck said some may find patriotic significance in his brother’s death on July Fourth. “But I don’t care about that. It’s my brother.”

Thanks to the following sources for honoring Aaron’s Sacrifice:

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2009421919_soldier06m.html

http://www.vancouverite.com/2009/07/06/on-independence-day-a-few-hours-ago-they-killed-my-son-aaron-in-afghanistan/

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/07/05/thank-you-aaron-a-us-soldiers-sacrifice-on-independence-day/

http://northshorejournal.org/aaron-fairbairn-kia-afghanistan-july-4-2009

 

Battle Of COP Zerok Paktika Province Afghanistan July 4th 2009

Battleground Afghanistan documentary on Spartan Heroes: Battle Of COP Zerok Paktika Province Afghanistan July 4th 2009

Features July 4th, 2009 attack on the Airborne 4th Brigade 25th Infantry Division at RC East, 4/25 ABCT Area of Operation South Eastern Afghanistan 3-509 Infantry Airborne Battalion.

In memory of PFC Justin Casillas & PFC Aaron Fairbairn

They will never be forgotten

The documentary features video taken that day by soldiers, as well as propaganda video found on insurgents weeks after the battle.

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” – Thomas Paine 1776

July 4th, 2009 at 0535 the first round impacted Combat Out Post Zerok, E. Paktika, Afghanistan as Able Company 3-509 jumped into action to respond in kind.

Including PFC Josh Fuller Grenadier, SPC James Channer Gun Team Leader, SSG Jarrod Mahfouz Fire Support NCO, 1LT Mike Bassi 2nd Platoon Leader, SPC David Fantell Team Leader, 1LT Jonathan Mummert Fire Support OIC, CPT Bryce Kawaguchi Able Co. Commander, SPC Gregory Jemison Senior Line Medic

spartan-heroes-attack-on-the-4th-of-july-pfc-justin-casillas-pfc-aaron-fairbairn-305-infantry-airborne-battalion“The attack on Cop Zerok was an assault on the men who fought bravely that day. But it was also an affront on the values that make America great. It was no coincidence the insurgence attacked on Independence Day. These terrorists stand against everything the United States fights for. The 4th of July is a day to celebrate our freedom and during all the wonderful festivities take a moment to remember the sacrifice of men like Casillas and Fairbairn along with the millions before them that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our liberty.”

Story by SPC Robert Ham

Awards from the July 4th Attack

Silver Star: PFC Justin Casillas

Bronze Star Medal with V device: CPL Brian Phillips, SPC James Channer

Army Commendation Medal with V device: 1LT Jonathan Mummert, SSG Jarrod Mahfouz, SGT Christian Nooney, SGT Michael Fink, PFC Jeremy Theisen, SPC David Fantell

Our deepest gratitude for all the men who fought bravely with PFC Aaron Fairbain, and to all the men and women continue to serve for the greater good. God bless you.