State holds medal of honor ceremony for fallen soldier
Gov. John Lynch talks about the National Guard Medal of Honor with Nancy Geary, mother of Lance Cpl. Michael Geary, after Friday's ceremony at the State House. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
CONCORD - At the state's first ceremony to award the New Hampshire National Guard Medal of Honor nearly two years ago, a moment of silence was held for Marin Lance Cpl. Michael Geary of Derry, who had recently been killed.
Friday, Geary's family was presented the medal of honor at the state's second award ceremony.
About 30 family and close friends attended the ceremony honoring two marines, a pilot and a soldier along with state elected officials, National Guard and other military personnel, veterans and State House visitors.
Gov. John Lynch, who signed the bill creating the state medal of honor in 2007, thanked the families for their sacrifices.
"To the families who lost loved ones, I feel, we all feel so badly for your loss," Lynch said. "I know the void in your heart will never be filled."
He said the families are owed an extreme debt of gratitude for their sacrifices, and he hopes the medal will be reminders of their loved ones.
"Thank you for giving your loved ones for the protection of us all," Lynch said.
U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte both thanked the families for what their loved ones gave so all Americans can enjoy freedom and liberty.
"There really is no way we can understand the loss you have experienced," Shaheen said. "All we can do is express our appreciation for what you have given through your loved ones."
"We can never repay the debt we owe to all of you," Ayotte said. "The medal will let you know how proud we are of their service."
Family members were escorted individually to the front of the Executive Council Chamber to receive their medal from Lynch and Guard Brig. Gen. Carolyn Protzmann.
US Army Spc. Nicholas Bernier of East Kingston, a 2007 Exeter High graduate, who died of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit in Afghanistan in 2011.
US Air Force Capt. Michael L. Chinburg grew up in Durham. He was killed in a Desert Storm night training mission Jan. 8, 1991, when his F-16 crashed in the Saudi desert.
Marine helicopter pilot Capt. Gary Dillon of Concord died in October 1991 in operation Desert Storm when his helicopter disappeared over the ocean while on a training flight.
Geary of Derry was killed in battle in Helmand Province in Dec. 8, 2010, while serving on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was 20 and a 2009 graduate of Pinkerton Academy.
According to the program the medal "Personified the dignity, integrity and valor of the brave servicemen and servicewomen who have proudly represented their home state and given the 'last full measure of devotion' in defense of their country."
At the first medal of honor ceremony, 54 men and women who died in the line of duty were honored.
READER COMMENTS: 4
- More than 1,800 people attend calling hours for Marine - 5
- Greenfield family receives body of Garabrant, veterans offer tribute to Marine killed in Afghanistan - 3
- Fallen Marine to return to NH on Saturday; calling hours, service set for next week in Peterborough - 0
- Monadnock area family of killed Marine travels to Delaware for arrival of body - 0
- ISIS' victories may win it recruits from rival Syrian rebel groups - 0
- Bomb kills NH Marine - 2
- NH Marine killed by roadside bomb in Afghanistan - 7
- General: Iraq asks U.S. for air support to stop rebels - 0
- U.S. cuts embassy staff in Baghdad as insurgents approach Iraqi capital - 0
READER COMMENTS: 2
- Claremont police dispatcher charged with sex assault and incest, placed on leave - 0
- Speeding stop leads to drug and alcohol charges in Hollis - 0
- Allen Lessels on Motor Sports: Youngsters eye NHMS - 0
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Manchester's bike culture shifts into high gear - 0
- Ignoring Lyme: What are state, towns doing? - 1
- Dave D'Onofrio's Sox Beat: Red Sox makeover underway - 1
- Tom Herzig's Trackside: MacDonald has NHMS track experience - 0
- Drew Cline: Scott Brown plans to win over NH one handshake at a time - 8
- Anthony M. Kay - 0
132-mph street racers blow by trooper in Nashua, one of two arrested; motorcyclist arrested on I-93 doing 107 mph
Police say Manchester woman arrested for punching ex-boyfriend during custody exchange in Walmart parking lot
Mount Washington College to close 2 campuses
Bikers say under-30 generation isn't interested, and can't afford many of the top motorcycles
Ban fireworks? Get serious
GOP criticizes Shaheen over gas tax
Sentence fragment: Coco's cuckoo release
Ayotte calls again for FCC reform