- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Octave Shield
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Sgt. Michael J. McMullen
Died January 10, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
25, of Salisbury, Md.; assigned to the 243rd Engineer Company, Maryland Army National Guard, Baltimore; died Jan. 10 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., of injuries sustained Dec. 24 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his position in Ramadi, Iraq.
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Family, comrades pay respects to fallen soldier
SALISBURY, Md. — Several hundred mourners, including a soldier who Sgt. Michael J. McMullen helped rescue in Iraq, paid their respects Thursday to the soldier and firefighter who died of wounds suffered in combat.
McMullen, 25, who worked as a paramedic in Salisbury for the fire department, was wounded Christmas Eve while caring for Sgt. Randal Divel, who had been injured in an earlier attack. McMullen died Jan. 10 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington from injuries suffered near Ramadi when a homemade explosive device went off near his unit, the Baltimore-based 243rd Engineering Company.
Divel, 36, sustained second- and third-degree burns in the incident and is being treated the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. He attended McMullen’s funeral in a wheelchair and spoke briefly at the service at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church.
Salisbury Fire Chief David See said McMullen’s actions in the war zone were what he was trained to do, and remembered him as a dedicated professional.
“He couldn’t wait to get on the job,” See said. “Firefighting was in his blood. He was a prankster, a straight shooter and a good guy. He was honest.”
Maj. Gen. Bruce Tuxill, adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard, presented military awards to his mother, Robin, and said they stood for McMullen’s willingness to “put himself in harm’s way to save the life of a comrade.”
The Army has awarded a Silver Star posthumously to McMullen, and promoted him posthumously to staff sergeant. McMullen was also awarded the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
Rep. Wayne Gilchrest and Salisbury Mayor Barrie Parsons Tilghman were among those who attended the service, which drew firefighters from around the region.
James Gladwell, captain at the Salisbury Fire Department and McMullen’s friend, said his loss leaves a void.
“He touched so many people in such a short time. He may have been struck down, but he was doing what he did best,” Gladwell said. “The world was a better place with him in it.”
A funeral procession will leave the church at 9 a.m. Friday to carry McMullen to burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
Salisbury firefighter dies from injuries in Iraq
SALISBURY, Md. — A Salisbury firefighter serving in Iraq with the Maryland Army National Guard has died after being wounded on Christmas Eve, the adjutant general said Thursday.
Sgt. Michael J. McMullen, 25, was badly wounded near Ramadi when a homemade explosive device went off near his unit, the Baltimore-based 243rd Engineering Company.
McMullen, who worked as a paramedic in Salisbury for the fire department, was wounded while caring for another soldier who had been injured in an earlier attack, said Maj. Gen. Bruce Tuxill, adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard.
“Sgt. McMullen acted in the highest tradition of the U.S. Army and the Maryland Army National Guard,” Tuxill said. “We often use the word hero to describe personal acts that go above and beyond the call of duty. By all accounts, Sgt. McMullen lived up to that definition, giving his life while caring for and protecting his fellow soldiers.”
McMullen, who was deployed to Iraq in late May, joined the Salisbury Fire Department in December 2001 as a volunteer and became a paramedic two years later.
He died Tuesday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Tuxill said.
Salisbury Fire Chief David See said McMullen died doing what he was trained to do — help others.
“He was well-respected,” See said after a news conference in Salisbury. “He was a gung-ho guy and was right there beside you, and he’ll be missed.”
McMullen was originally from Pennsylvania but had lived on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for many years. McMullen has no children and was unmarried.
Tuxill said two other soldiers who were deployed with McMullen were injured in the same attack and were evacuated back to the United States to Walter Reed and the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.