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Marine Sgt. Cahir buried at Arlington Cemetery

Marine Sgt. William J. Cahir, a former news reporter and congressional candidate, was laid to rest with full military honors Monday at Arlington National Cemetery.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Marine Sgt. William J. Cahir, a former news reporter and congressional candidate, was laid to rest with full military honors Monday at Arlington National Cemetery.

Cahir, 40, died Aug. 13 of an enemy gunshot wound while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

More than 200 people gathered at the cemetery for his burial services. A horse-drawn cart carried Cahir's flag-draped casket to the grave site. A squad of Marines fired several shots into the air. Many in the crowd placed their hands over their hearts and bowed their heads as a bugler played taps.

In response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Cahir enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in November 2003. He was assigned to 4th Civil Affairs Group, Marine Forces Reserve, based out of Washington, D.C.

He had done two tours of duty in Iraq before returning to Pennsylvania last year to run in a three-way Democratic primary 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.

Cahir is survived by his wife, Rene E. Browne of Alexandria, who is pregnant with their twins.

In a written statement, Browne described Cahir as "a loved and cherished husband, son, brother and excited father-to-be, as well as a friend and colleague who touched the lives of so many."

"Bill was a hero to me, and to his family and friends, long before he gave his life for his country," Browne said.

Cahir, a Bellefonte, Pa., native, previously worked as a Washington correspondent for Newhouse News Service, writing for several newspapers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He quit in early 2008 to run for Congress.

Cahir was deployed to Afghanistan last spring. His military awards include three Navy and Marine Corps achievement medals and two combat action ribbons.

Survivors include his parents, John and Mary Anne Cahir of State College, Pa.; two sisters; and a brother.

A memorial fund has been set up for his children.

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On the Net:

Bill Cahir Memorial Fund: http://www.billcahirmemorialfund.org