Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Army Spc. Sean M. Walsh

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Sean M. Walsh, 21, of San Jose, Calif.

Spc. Walsh was assigned to 185th Military Police Battalion, 49th Military Police Brigade, California National Guard, Pittsburg, Calif.; died Nov. 16, 2011 in Khowst province, Afghanistan, of injuries caused by indirect fire.

Spc Walsh deployed to Afghanistan in December 2010. He had just a week left on his year-long tour. He was due home the following Friday.

Spc Walsh was an avid skater and surfer and was involved with the Santa Clara Police Department Explorer Program while attending Prospect High.

Spc Walsh joined the California National Guard in 2008. He served as a Military Police Officer.

Mother, Cheryl, recalled the day her only child told her he wanted to join the California National Guard. He was 17 and dreamed of becoming a police officer some day. Serving as a military police officer first, she said, would be his stepping stone to the profession.

"I was terrified and I was trying to talk him out of that," she said. Going back three generations, she said, several family members had served in the armed forces and fought in combat, including an uncle who died in Korea. "I knew, and I was worried," she said.

A photo taken just 13 days before he was killed showed him holding a sign that read, "I Love Mom."

Friends and family say he was a loving son, a dedicated soldier and a goofball friend.

"I'll be fine grandma, I'll be fine. That's what he'd always say. I'll be fine grandma, I'll be fine," Sean's grandma Shirley Quigley.

Grandmother Shirley said her grandson always had a way of making people laugh when they were down, lifting them back up.

"He'd leave silly messages…I've saved every one of them. Not because...It was just until he came home. I wasn't going to erase any of them," Shirley continued.

Uncle Tim Morgan said he remembered his nephew as a person who could make anyone smile and was filled with compassion and a sense of duty. "He became an MP because he wanted to be a policeman, he wanted to protect and serve.

This has been one of the worst nightmares to hit us, we just didn't expect it to happen." "He was just a few days away from coming home," he said. "He was actually supposed to come up here next month and we were all going to go to the city for New Year's."

"I didn't know Specialist Walsh, but spending time with his mother, Cheryl, you realize the sacrifices involved. That he's a human being and not just a number," said First Lieutenant Will Martin, a spokesman for the CA National Guard. "It brings it home."

Army Spc. Sean M. Walsh was killed in action on 11/16/11.

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