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Sep 2, 2009 12:26 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Former Press staffer laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery

Editor's Note: To listen to a National Public Radio "Morning Edition" story on Bill Cahir, click here.
Sep 2, 2009 12:26 PM

Sergeant William J. Cahir, a former Southampton Press reporter who joined the U.S. Marines in 2003 at the age of 34 and was killed by enemy fire in Afghanistan on August 13 during his third tour of duty, was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Monday, August 31.

Sgt. Cahir, 40, was deployed with the Marines, trying to ensure secure Afghani presidential elections. He is survived by his wife of three years, Rene E. Browne, whom he learned during their last phone conversation is expecting twin girls, the couple’s first children.

He was a staff writer at The Southampton Press during the mid-1990s. He joined the Marines as a reservist in 2003, compelled by the 
tragedy of September 11, 2001. He served two tours in western Iraq, the first from 2004 to 2005, and then from 2006 to 2007.

He was working for the Newhouse News Service, reporting from Washington, D.C., for several New Jersey- and Pennsylvania-based dailies when he enlisted, and returned after his second tour was complete.

In January 2008, he resigned from his newspaper job to make a run for Pennsylvania’s 5th District congressional seat, a race he lost in the Democratic primary.

He was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Penn State University in 1990 with a degree in English. In the early 1990s, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he was a staffer on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Sgt. Cahir will be posthumously awarded The Purple Heart at a ceremony on September 13.

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