Sunday, August 14, 2011

Army 1st Lt. Damon T. Leehan

Remember Our Heroes

Army 1st Lt. Damon T. Leehan, 30, of Edmond, Okla.

1st Lt Leehan was assigned to 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma National Guard, Stillwater, Okla.; died Aug. 14, 2011 in Laghman province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

“Oklahoma has lost an outstanding citizen-soldier who was committed to defending our nation and protecting our way of life,” said Maj. Gen. Myles Deering, adjutant general for Oklahoma. “Lt. Leehan served this nation and our state with great honor and distinction for more than a decade. His sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

Lt. Leehan was a platoon leader with Company A, 1st Battalion, 179 Infantry Regiment of the Edmond-based 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Lt Damon was to have celebrated his 31st birthday on September 11 and sixth wedding anniversary on September 17.

Lt Damon graduated from Edmond North High School and attended Oklahoma University. He joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 1998. He had previously deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004. In 2008 he successfully completed Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant.

Ashley Hale, director of radiology at Integris Southwest Medical Center, was the soldier’s supervisor. She said Lt. Leehan, who began working at the hospital in 2001, was an X-ray technician. During a six-year period she got to know him fairly well, Hale said. He was a hard-working, outgoing, well-known, well-liked co-worker.

He had many friends here,” Hale said. Hale said Tuesday a patient was in the emergency room when an employee became emotional. When the patient was told an employee had been killed, she asked, “Was it Damon?” Then she started crying, Hale said. Other co-workers are also struggling with the loss. Integris Southwest Medical Center is accepting donations to help the family. To contribute through the hospital, call 636-7048, the phone number for Hale’s secretary.

Hale said Lt. Leehan was a family man who loved his country. For example, he carried a patriotic-themed coffee mug and had a U.S. flag on his locker. “His family, his children, can know when they grow up that he was a hero and died serving his country,” Hale said.

Lt Leehan was laid to rest at Resthaven Memory Gardens.

Lt. Leehan is survived by his mother, Marina; Father and stepmom, Dennis and Marci; his wife Audrey, and their two children, Emma, 4, and Ethan, 1.

Army 1st Lt. Damon T. Leehan was killed in action on 8/14/11.

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