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Army Spc. William J. Maher III

Died July 28, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

35, Yardley, Pa.; assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Ray Barracks, Germany; killed when he was injured by an improvised explosive device while riding in a convoy on July 28 in Baghdad, Iraq.

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After drifting in and out of several fields, William J. Maher III joined the military at age 30 to “find himself,” said his father, William Maher Jr. “He thanked the Army for that.”

In letters home, Maher expressed pride in the mission but also said he was anxious to be closer to friends and family. He was to be discharged from the military in January. “I don’t regret being in the Army,” he wrote. “Seeing all the people, places and cultures made me realize that I’m a strong person and that nothing is too difficult. The experience is like no other.”

Maher, 35, of Yardley, Pa., was killed by an explosive device July 28 as he traveled in a convoy in Iraq. Stationed in Germany, he was deployed to Iraq on May 11 and told his father he was “shot at constantly.”

“Like any red-blooded American, he wanted to be home,” his father said, “but he knew he had to be there and he wanted to do his job.”

— Associated Press

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