Quincy soldier killed in Afghanistan | MassCops

Quincy soldier killed in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Military News' started by kwflatbed, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    A valiant Quincy woman serving in the Massachusetts Army National Guard died in combat in Afghanistan Thursday, officials said.
    Specialist Ciara Durkin, 29, who was assigned to a finance unit that was deployed in November 2006, is the third Massachusetts servicewoman to be killed in combat. Durkin’s family could not be reached for comment last night.
    Neighbors said Durkin had moved to Quincy a few years ago. She previously lived in Dorchester.
    “She didn’t spend a lot of time here, but when she was here, she was a very personable person,” said Patricia Frazer.
    James O’Brien said Durkin was last in the neighborhood a few weeks ago, when she was on scheduled leave from duty. “She just seemed like a friendly person,” he said.
    Quincy Director of Veterans’ Services Henry Bradley said Durkin is the second Quincy soldier to die in Iraq or Afghanistan. “Usually you watch it on TV and you don’t see the real carnage that’s going on,” Bradley said. “But when it’s one from your own community, they look at it much differently.”
    Army Staff Sgt. Alisia Birchett of Mashpee was killed in August, and Marine Capt. Jennifer J. Harris of Swampscott was killed in a helicopter crash in February.

    http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/general/view.bg?articleid=1035074
     
  2. CPT Chaos

    CPT Chaos Subscribing Member

    US military probes Irish death in Afghanistan
    Monday, 1 October 2007 17:13

    The family of an Irish woman who was killed while serving with the US army in Afghanistan has appealed to the Irish Government to participate in the inquiry into her death.

    Ciara Durkin, 30, originally from Eanach Mheáin in Connemara, died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the head within the Bagram airbase, according to information the military has released to the Durkin Family.

    Speaking on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta this morning Pádraig Ó Conghaile, Ms Durkin's brother-in-law, appealed to the Department of Foreign Affairs to participate in the investigation into her death.

    The Durkin family have been informed that the investigation, which is being conducted by the military in the US, will take up to eight weeks to complete.
     
  3. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member





    Pentagon says Quincy soldier not killed in combat


    [​IMG]

    QUINCY, Mass. -- The military says a 30-year-old soldier from Quincy who died last week in Afghanistan was not killed in combat.
    The Department of Defense says Specialist Ciara Durkin died Friday of injuries suffered in a non-combat related incident at Bagram Airfield. The statement had no specifics and said the circumstances are under investigation.
    Durkin was assigned to the 726th Finance Battalion of the Massachusetts Army National Guard.
    Durkin's sister, Fiona Canavan, told The Boston Globe that military officials have told the family she was found shot in the head inside a secure area at the base. Canavan said her sister was near a church at about 6:30 p.m., after the fall of darkness.

    http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/BO63510/
     
  4. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Slain soldier told kin to investigate if she died

    By Mike Underwood
    Wednesday, October 3, 2007

    [​IMG]
    Photo by Family member
    Soldier Ciara Durkin.

    The Quincy soldier mysteriously slain by a bullet to the head on a secure Afghanistan airbase feared something might happen to her after discovering “something she didn’t like,” her devastated family revealed.
    Massachusetts National Guard Spc. Ciara Durkin, 30, was found with a single gunshot wound to her head behind a building at Bagram Airbase on Sept. 27.
    “The last time she was home she said she had seen things that she didn’t like and she had raised concerns that had annoyed some people,” said Durkin’s sister Fiona Canavan, 44, of Quincy.
    She said, and I thought she was joking, that if anything happened to her we had to investigate.”
    Canavan said she did not know what her baby sister had seen or whom she had told, and she rejected the notion that Durkin committed suicide. The military has not answered the family’s questions about her death, she added.
    Publicly, the military will only say her death is under investigation.
    Canavan said Durkin was openly gay, but she did not believe that had anything to do with her death.
    Bay State political leaders are also demanding answers from the U.S. military’s top brass.
    Sen. John F. Kerry has written to U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates while Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and U.S. Rep. William D. Delahunt (D-Quincy) have contacted Army Secretary Pete Geren.
    Kennedy said he has spoken to Geren to make sure the family’s concerns are known and addressed at the highest level while Delahunt wrote to Geren.
    Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs has also weighed in, confirming it contacted U.S. officials in Dublin and Washington after a plea for answers from Durkin’s relatives in Ireland.
    Durkin was assigned to the 726th Finance Battalion, Massachusetts Army National Guard at Bagram Airbase where she helped make sure soldiers in Afghanistan got paid.
    “(The military) is definitely holding back,” said Canavan. “As to why we can only speculate.”
    She said it could take anywhere from three weeks to three months for her sister’s autopsy report to be released.
    Officials initially told the family Durkin was “killed in action” but changed their story over the weekend, saying she perished from “non-combat related” injuries.
    Durkin was deployed to Afghanistan in February and was due to return home in January. Her funeral is Saturday at St. John’s Parish Church on School Street, Quincy.

    http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/general/view.bg?articleid=1035668

    Army runaround keeps family from finding out the truth

    [​IMG]

    By Peter Gelzinis
    All Ciara Durkin’s family knows for sure is that she died late last week...
     
  5. CPT Chaos

    CPT Chaos Subscribing Member

    GI to her family: Ask many questions if I die; ‘I made some enemies,’

    [SIZE=+1]GI to her family: Ask many questions if I die; ‘I made some enemies,’ Durkin said[/SIZE]
    [​IMG]
    Durkin
    By DIANA SCHOBERG and SUE SCHEIBLE
    The Patriot Ledger

    QUINCY - Ciara Durkin was home on leave last month and expressed a concern to her family in Quincy: If something happens to me in Afghanistan, don’t let it go without an investigation.

    Durkin, 30, a specialist with a Massachusetts National Guard finance battalion, was found dead last week near a church at the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. She had been shot once in the head, the Army says.

    Fiona Canavan, Durkin’s older sister, said today that when her sister was home three weeks ago, she told family members that she had come across some things that concerned her and had raised objections to others at the base.

    ‘‘She was in the finance unit and she said, ‘I discovered some things I don’t like and I made some enemies because of it.’ Then she said, in her light-hearted way, ‘If anything happens to me, you guys make sure it gets investigated,’’’ Canavan said. ‘‘But at the time we thought it was said more as a joke.’’

    The family did not know what she was referring to, said Canavan, who lives in Quincy.

    Canavan said that her sister was openly gay, but that the family had no specific reasons to think that had anything to do with her death.

    ‘‘She was gay, but because she really wanted to go into the Army, she had to make a choice and she chose to put that part of her lifestyle behind her,’’ Canavan said.

    The family is determined to have the military investigate ‘‘every aspect’’ of her sister’s life at the base and determine the truth of what happened, Canavan said. ‘‘If she was killed because she was a smoker or had red hair - not to be flip, but we want nothing held back.’’

    Canavan vehemently denied a published report attributing to her a statement that the family was concerned that Durkin’s lesbianism was the reason for her death.

    When her sister told the family three weeks ago about her concerns over her safety at the base, due to whatever information she had found out, Canavan said, ‘‘we reported it to the Army.’’

    Canavan said that the offices of Sen. John Kerry and Edward Kennedy have been tremendously supportive in the ongoing investigation. U.S. Rep. William Delahunt has also been pressing the Pentagon for answers.

    Other family members are coming in for Durkin’s funeral on Saturday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Quincy, she said.

    Kerry sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Tuesday. It contained a list of questions he said were raised by Durkin’s family:

    —Why had the family not gotten a response to its request for an independent autopsy?

    —Why did the family not receive the results of the Army’s autopsy when it was told it would?

    —Why had the Army not made Durkin’s will and other paperwork available to the family so they could plan her funeral?

    Asked in a telephone interview about what the seriousness of the questions might imply, Kerry said there were ‘‘no implications.’’

    ‘‘There’s simply a request for a family at a moment of great loss and great anxiety to have everything possible happen to put their minds at ease,’’ he said. ‘‘There have been some unfortunate situations, as we’ve seen historically in the past few years, of false information being given, of people not sufficiently having their questions answered.’’

    Her family was initially told that Durkin was killed in action on Friday. But on Monday, the family learned that she died about 6:30 p.m. of a single gunshot wound to the head in a non-combat situation.

    Durkin had been assigned to a finance unit at the base since February. Her tour of duty had been scheduled to end in February.

    Her younger brother, Pierce Durkin, said that because of the nature of the wound and the fact that the shooting happened under ‘‘curious’’ circumstances, the family decided to contact legislators.

    The family was going through old photos of Ciara on Tuesday in preparation for the wake and funeral.

    ‘‘She’s undoubtedly smiling in every one,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s making it all so much more difficult.’’

    Durkin was born in Ireland and moved to the United States when she was 9 years old. The family lived first in Dorchester and later in Quincy.

    She joined the Army National Guard in October 2005.



    Kerry's letter to Gates

    This is the letter Sen. John Kerry sent Tuesday to Defense Secretary Robert Gates about the death of Army National Guard Spc. Ciara Durkin.

    Dear Secretary Gates:

    I write to you on behalf of my constituent, Angela Durkin, who

    last week was notified that her daughter, Army Specialist Ciara Durkin,

    had been killed while serving our country in Afghanistan.

    Since the terrible news of Ciara's death became public, I

    have spoken with her mother and brother and my staff has spoken with

    other family members. Initial reports indicated that Ms. Durkin, a

    member of the Massachusetts National Guard, was "killed in action" but

    since that time, other circumstances and rumors surrounding her death at

    Bagram Airfield have come to the attention of her family.

    As you can imagine, the confusion and potential misreporting around

    Specialist Durkin's death have added to what is already an

    extraordinarily painful time for her mother, her siblings and her

    extended family, here in Massachusetts and in Ireland. The Durkin family

    desperately needs answers to the following questions:

    1. Why has the Army not responded to the Durkin family's request

    for an independent autopsy?

    2. Why, after not responding to the family's request for an

    independent autopsy, did the Army fail to contact the Durkin family with

    the Army's autopsy results? The family was told to be available to

    receive a phone call between 1 and 3 PM on October 1 and the Army never

    called.

    3. Why has the Army refused to make Specialist Durkin's will and

    paperwork available to her family so they can respect her wishes as they

    plan her funeral and burial?

    While I understand that in accordance with the US Central

    Command policy, an investigation is taking place, I cannot overstate the

    urgency and importance of this matter to the Durkin family. I urge you

    to deploy your staff on this matter immediately so that the answers and

    circumstances around Specialist Durkin's death are uncovered,

    expeditiously and thoroughly.

    Your cooperation in this matter is appreciated. Please know

    that my staff in Washington and Massachusetts is prepared to assist you

    and the Department of Defense with regard to this matter.

    Sincerely,

    John F. Kerry
    United States Senator

    Military misinformation

    In several recent cases, the U.S. military has been accused of providing inaccurate information about military actions:

    —Pat Tillman: The Army Ranger was killed in 2004 by friendly fire in Afghanistan. The military initially said he died in a firefight with the enemy.

    —Jessica Lynch: The military initially said the former Army private fought until shooting her last round of ammunition when she was captured in 2003 in Iraq. She later said she was injured too badly to fight.

    —Patrick McCaffrey and Andre Tyson: Both were killed in 2004 by two Iraqi soldiers they were training. The military had said the deaths resulted from an insurgent ambush.


    Diana Schoberg may be reached at [email protected] .

    Copyright 2007 The Patriot Ledger
    Transmitted Wednesday, October 03, 2007
     
  6. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Full Military Honors For Quincy Soldier

    Pentagon Investigating Ciara Durkin's Death


    QUINCY, Mass. -- A National Guard soldier from Quincy who died under suspicious circumstances in Afghanistan was buried with full military honors.

    Spc. Ciara Durkin was remembered by Maj. Gen. Joseph Carter, adjutant general of the Massachusetts National Guard, for the way she cared for fellow soldiers.

    Carter also recalled her commitment to her mission. The service was held at St. John the Baptist Church in Quincy.
    Durkin was found with a single gunshot wound to her head in a secure area of Bagram Airfield last month.

    Her family initially complained that military officials told them she was killed "in action," but then later said she died in a "non-combat related incident."

    But after meeting with Army investigators this week, they said they were reassured that the investigation was comprehensive. The family discounts the possibility of suicide.



    Previous Stories:

    http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/14284857/detail.html
     
  7. CPT Chaos

    CPT Chaos Subscribing Member

    Military tribute, hundreds of people honor Durkin at funeral[​IMG]
    The funeral for Army National Guard Spc. Ciara Durkin was held at the Saint John the Baptist Church in Quincy. Her mother, Angela, walks behinds the casket as they leave the church. (DEBEE TLUMACKI/The Patriot Ledger)By JENNIFER MANN

    The Patriot Ledger

    QUINCY - They remembered her smile, her wit, her mischief. They talked of how she selflessly helped others, at home and while serving abroad.

    Unanswered questions hung heavy in the air, but went without mention. Instead, family members focused on memories of the enchanting young woman with wild red hair.

    "Such a sad word is goodbye, emotions in it thickly lie. But none describe the feelings bared, by the loss of Ciara with the wild red hair."

    Army National Guard Spc. Ciara Durkin, 30, died Sept. 28 from a single gunshot to the head at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. She had been assigned to a finance unit at the base since February; her tour would have ended next February.

    After learning of the death, her sister, Aine Durkin, wrote a poem, which she read twice, first in Gaelic, to hundreds attending the Christian funeral mass Saturday at Saint John the Baptist Church in Quincy.

    "Seasons to seasons bid farewell, time as natural as the oceans swell. But what is natural in a war unfair, that stole our Ciara with the wild red hair."

    The morning's events were conducted with full military tribute: the honor guard, flag draped coffin, and evenly paced salutes. People lined the sidewalks outside the church, carrying flags and solemnly looking on. Waitresses from nearby Sam's restaurant stepped onto the street corner, as the sound of bagpipes carried.

    Joe Brill, a Hough's Neck resident active in the Quincy community, quietly thanked people for coming and handed out American flags - he estimated more than 500.

    "That's what Quincy is all about," he said. "The least we could do is thank this young woman for giving her life fighting for this country. She paid the ultimate price, unfortunately, but God bless her."

    Carmel O'Flaherty, who moved here Ireland 11 years ago, carried an American flag in one hand, and flag of Ireland in the other.

    "I came out here to support America and support the family," she said. "When you're Irish and you come over from Ireland, these are your family, your friends."
    "Her body lying in a troubled place, lips now still on a beautiful face. Goodbye we never got a chance to share, with our lovely Ciara of the wild red hair."

    Born in the Galway area of Ireland, Ciara Durkin lived with her family in Dorchester and then Quincy from age 9 on. She was a 1996 graduate of Fontbonne Academy in Milton.

    Durkin joined the Army National Guard, 726th Unit's Task Force Diamond, in October 2005.

    Lt. Col. Thomas Devine, 726th Finance Battalion commander, in a letter read during the mass, described Durkin as a "go-to person" on the base, ready for every mission.

    "A huge void is left in all our hearts . . . Words seem so inadequate," he wrote.

    Durkin once prevented a contract worker from serious injury by breaking a fall, an "act of absolute heroism," he wrote.

    "Her eyes so kind, so clear, so blue, no longer see the world she knew. Kindness and goodness in abundance to share, were the gifts of Ciara with the wild red hair."

    While on a recent home leave, Durkin told her family that she had come across information that made her uncomfortable; she jokingly asked them to call for an investigation if anything happened to her.

    The family and elected officials have been clamoring for answers. Army officials are investigating as if Durkin was murdered, but are stopping short of calling it a homicide investigation.

    Attending the funeral was Sen. John Kerry, who has taken a lead in questioning and who provided the family help of a public relations firm after they were thrust into the local and national spotlight. Also there were Gov. Deval Patrick, Quincy Mayor William Phelan and other elected officials.

    Durkin's brother, Pierce Durkin, gave the eulogy, telling tales of his sister with the sparkplug personality, who people couldn't help but love. He recalled the time he visited her where she worked at an Alzheimer's clinic.

    The seniors crowded around the woman with dancing freckles, hands in the air and grins on their faces. One couldn't help but exclaim: "I don't know who you are, but I know I love you!"

    "The beat of her heart we no longer hear, having filled our lives with laughter and cheer. A light's gone out, the world is bare, since we lost our Ciara with the wild red hair."

    Copyright 2007 The Patriot Ledger
    Transmitted Saturday, October 06, 2007
     
  8. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Soldier’s spirit, kin persevere

    By Peter Gelzinis
    Sunday, October 7, 2007

    [​IMG]
    Photo by Mark Garfinkel

    Angela Durkin, the mother of Army Spc. Ciara Durkin, inset, who was killed in Afghanistan, holds the flag presented to her yesterday at a graveside service in Quincy.

    The fog of war in Afghanistan has shrouded Ciara Durkin’s death in mystery.
    But it could not engulf a Quincy church yesterday, or the large Irish family who celebrated a daughter’s irrepressible spirit, as well as the sacrifice she made to the adopted country she loved.
    Before the Honor Guard guided Army Spc. Ciara Durkin’s casket down the aisle of St. John the Baptist Church, Mairin Keady - who emigrated from the West Coast of Ireland with the Durkin clan and grew up with three of Ciara’s sisters - used her magnificent voice to lead a tear-soaked congregation in the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as well as “Amhran na BhFiann,” the Irish national anthem.

    [​IMG]
    Photo by Mark Garfinkel

    Soldiers carry Ciara Durkin’s casket out of the church were her funeral was held .

    Ciara Durkin, 30, died some 10 days ago within the secure confines of Bagram Air Base in Afganistan. Her body was found near a base chapel with a single gunshot to her head. She was attached to the 726th Finance Unit of the Massachusetts National Guard.
    When Durkin was home on leave less than two months ago, her older sisters say she told them of things in Afghanistan that troubled her. She left them with an ominous request: If she were to die, Ciara told her family to investigate any official explanation.
    So far, those explanations have been murky to the point of suspicion. Ciara Durkin’s family has made no secret of the fact that she was gay. Yet, they have resisted any knee-jerk temptation to make that a reason. Ciara Durkin handled payroll and was around money.
    Yesterday morning, as one friend and mourner waited for Ciara’s coffin to arrive, he wondered if what haunted her had to do with money.
    In a search for the truth, U.S. Sens. John F. Kerry and Ted Kennedy, along with U.S. Rep. William Delahunt of Quincy, facilitated the Durkin family’s request for an independent autopsy that was to be performed after yesterday’s funeral service.
    The only acknowledgement of the extra turmoil this family has been forced to endure was done lyrically, gracefully, in the poignant verse of a poem, “Ciara With the Wild Red Hair,” written by her older sister, Aine Durkin.
    “Seasons to seasons bid farewell,” Aine read aloud from the foot of the altar. “Time as natural as the ocean’s swell/But what is natural in a war unfair/That stole our Ciara with the wild red hair.”
    Before Aine spoke that verse, she took time to pay tribute to the Army liaison officer the family had come to embrace. Ciara’s brother Pierce choked back a riptide of emotion to remember the force of nature that was his sister.
    “What was it about Ciara that trapped us into loving her?” he asked.
    It was her selflessness, he told the throng through his laughter and tears. Ciara’s silliness, her laughter, her blue eyes, fiery hair and exuberant face that never failed to overwhelm you. They were all part of a lovely, relentless effort to make someone else happy, Pierce Durkin said.
    The brother captured his sister’s spirit with a wonderful anecdote about how the Alzheimer’s patients she once worked with came to love her. Ciara could mesmerize them, Pierce said, to the point where he recalled one elderly woman running toward his sister.
    “I don’t know who you are,” the woman told Ciara, “but I know I love you.”
    Keady, the dear friend who filled St. John’s Church with songs that recalled their Irish homeland as well as the American spirit, said that as she sang for the friend she lost, she also sang for the son, Seosaimh Keady, a sergeant with the 82nd Airborne, now on his fourth tour in Iraq.


    Because a portion of Ciara Durkin’s ashes will be sprinkled in her native Ireland, some buried with full military honors in Arlington and the rest to remain with her family in Quincy, her mother, Angela, was presented with a flag during a “graveside” service that was held in front of the church after the service.
    When a volley of 21 shots echoed off the adjacent apartment buildings, Keady’s body shook.
    “God forgive me, but I can’t help but think that’s the same sound that killed Ciara. I hear that and think of what our children hear. God, I love this country, but sometimes I wonder if the price is too high.”

    http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/general/view.bg?articleid=1036490
     
  9. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    [​IMG]
    Photo by Mark Garfinkel

    Ciara Durkin’s family at her funeral yesterday.

    [​IMG]
    Photo by Mark Garfinkel

    A mourner pays respects during Ciara Durkin’s funeral yesterday.

    [SIZE=+1]Second autopsy done on Quincy soldier: Friends, family, dignitaries honor Durkin at funeral[/SIZE]

    By JENNIFER MANN
    The Patriot Ledger

    QUINCY - An independent autopsy was performed Sunday on the body of Army National Guard Cpl. Ciara Durkin, who was shot in the head at an air base in Afghanistan 10 days ago.

    Justine Griffin, a spokeswoman for Durkin’s family, said the office of U.S. Sen. John Kerry made arrangements for the autopsy.

    Griffin said the second, independent autopsy was performed in Massachusetts, but she did not know who was performing it or when the results would be available to the family, who had requested it.

    ‘‘The family has met extensively with the Army who assured them they are doing a comprehensive investigation,’’ Griffin added.

    Durkin, who served with the rank of specialist, was promoted posthumously to corporal.

    A funeral for Durkin was held Saturday at a jammed Quincy church. She was remembered for her smile, wit and mischief, and relatives recalled how she selflessly helped others, at home and while serving abroad.

    Unanswered questions hung heavy in the air, but went without mention. Instead, family members focused on memories of the enchanting young woman with wild red hair.

    Durkin, 30, died Sept. 28 from a single gunshot to the head at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. She had been assigned to a finance unit at the base since February; her tour would have ended next February.

    After learning of the death, her sister, Aine Durkin, wrote a poem, which she read twice, first in Gaelic, to hundreds attending the funeral Mass Saturday at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Quincy.

    ‘‘Seasons to seasons bid farewell, time as natural as the oceans swell. But what is natural in a war unfair, that stole our Ciara with the wild red hair.’’

    The funeral was conducted with full military honors: flag-draped coffin, the honor guard and salutes. People lined the sidewalks outside the church, carrying flags and solemnly looking on. Waitresses from nearby Sam’s restaurant stepped onto the street corner as the sound of bagpipes carried in the autumn air.

    Joe Brill, a Houghs Neck resident active in the Quincy community, quietly thanked people for coming and handed out American flags - he estimated more than 500.
    ‘‘That’s what Quincy is all about,’’ he said. ‘‘The least we could do is thank this young woman for giving her life fighting for this country. She paid the ultimate price, unfortunately, but God bless her.’’

    Carmel O’Flaherty, who moved here from Ireland 11 years ago, carried an American flag in one hand, and flag of Ireland in the other.

    ‘‘I came out here to support America and support the family,’’ she said. ‘‘When you’re Irish and you come over from Ireland, these are your family, your friends.’’

    Born in the county of Galway in Ireland, Ciara Durkin lived with her family in Dorchester and then Quincy from age 9 on. She was a 1996 graduate of Fontbonne Academy in Milton.

    Durkin joined the Army National Guard, 726th Unit’s Task Force Diamond, in October 2005.

    Lt. Col. Thomas Devine, 726th Finance Battalion commander, in a letter read during the Mass, described Durkin as a ‘‘go-to person’’ on the base, ready for every mission.

    ‘‘A huge void is left in all our hearts ... Words seem so inadequate,’’ he wrote.

    Durkin once prevented a contract worker from serious injury by breaking a fall, an ‘‘act of absolute heroism,’’ he wrote.

    ‘‘Her eyes so kind, so clear, so blue, no longer see the world she knew. Kindness and goodness in abundance to share, were the gifts of Ciara with the wild red hair.’’

    While on a recent leave, Durkin told her family that she had come across information that made her uncomfortable; she jokingly asked them to call for an investigation if anything happened to her.

    The family and elected officials have been clamoring for answers. Army officials are investigating as if Durkin was murdered, but are stopping short of calling it a homicide investigation.

    Attending the funeral was Sen. Kerry, who has taken a lead in questioning and who provided the family help of a public relations firm after they were thrust into the local and national spotlight.

    Also there were Gov. Deval Patrick, Quincy Mayor William Phelan and other elected officials.

    Durkin’s brother, Pierce Durkin, gave the eulogy, telling tales of his sister with the sparkplug personality, who people couldn’t help but love. He recalled the time he visited her where she worked at an Alzheimer’s clinic.

    The seniors crowded around the woman with dancing freckles, hands in the air and grins on their faces. One couldn’t help but exclaim: ‘‘I don’t know who you are, but I know I love you!’’ ‘‘The beat of her heart we no longer hear, having filled our lives with laughter and cheer. A light’s gone out, the world is bare, since we lost our Ciara with the wild red hair.’’

    http://www.southofboston.com/articles/2007/10/08/headlines/news/news02.txt
     
  10. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Death of Quincy soldier in Afghanistan ruled a suicide, family says


    [​IMG]
    Army National Guard Cpl. Ciara Durkin, 30, of Quincy, was killed under mysterious circumstances on Sept. 28, 2007, at Bagram Air Base.


    By Sue Scheible
    The Patriot Ledger
    Posted Jun 24, 2008 @ 11:17 AM
    Last update Jun 24, 2008 @ 11:19 AM

    QUINCY —
    The family of Ciara Durkin, a30-year-old National Guard corporal who died in mysterious circumstances last fall in Afghanistan, says they have been told that the Army has ruled her death a suicide.
    "The Durkin family has received the Army's final report into Ciara's death with their conclusion that she took her own life. We are very upset and saddened by their conclusion," the family said in a statement on their web site.

    "We have borne an extraordinary amount of pain over the past nine months, compounded by a protracted and at times ambiguous investigation. We now need time and privacy to grieve, and let our Ciara finally rest in peace. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam."
    The Gaelic expression means, "May her noble soul be at the right hand of God."
    Three months before she was found dead with a single gunshot wound to the head, Durkin wrote to a friend that another soldier had pointed a 9mm handgun at her.
    Durkin, who was stationed at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, wrote that the soldier had been jailed and asked her friend not to tell others about the incident, Durkin family spokesman Douglas Bailey confirmed.
    “That remains another thing to be tracked down,” Bailey said Sunday, referring to the military investigation of Durkin’s death. Her body was found Sept. 28 near a church on the base, her M-16 rifle nearby. The death was initially reported as combat-related but Durkin’s family back in Quincy immediately suspected something else, since during her last visit home in September, she talked about “making enemies” because of things she learned working in a finance unit on the base.
    The military has since called the death a non-combat fatality.
    Bailey confirmed that there are “third-hand” reports that Durkin was shot in the mouth, indicating suicide. “Someone in the military may have told a family member who told another family member” that the fatal gunshot was in the mouth, he said.
    But family members have discounted the suicide theory, saying Durkin had plans for the future and appeared happy during her visit home.
    The military is investigating the death but has released no information including whether there is any connection between it and Durkin’s report about having a gun pointed at her in June.
    Durkin, 30, was promoted to corporal after her death.
    The Durkin family hopes to hear “any day now” about the military’s autopsy results, Bailey said. “The autopsy won’t be the end of the investigation,” he added. “There are a lot of leads that still need to be followed up on, more people to be interviewed.”
    The results of a separate autopsy are expected soon, Bailey said.
    Meanwhile, the Durkin family is anxious for the investigation to move forward, he said. “They don’t expect closure soon but would like to start getting some better information. It could still take a year or more for the military to conclude more about the cause of death and the final report could reach no finding,” he said.
    Durkin enlisted in the Army National Guard in 2005 and was assigned to the 726th Finance Batallion based in West Newton. She was deployed to Afghanistan in February.

    http://www.patriotledger.com/homepa...-gun-pointed-at-her-3-months-before-her-death
     
  11. Delta784

    Delta784 Guest

    I'm not exactly Mister CSI, but if it were suicide by gunshot to the head from an M-16, it would have to be a contact shot and there would be significant powder burns as well as "starring" from the flash suppressor. The Army is not doing anyone any favors by continuing to shroud this in secrecy.....release the full autopsy report and be done with it.
     
  12. Becks27

    Becks27 New Member

    Rest in Peace
     
  13. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Report details Quincy GI’s suicide


    A Quincy soldier found dead on a U.S. air base in Afghanistan sent a text message to a friend threatening to kill herself minutes before she died, according to an Army report obtained by the Herald.
    Massachusetts National Guard Cpl. Ciara Durkin, 30, was found lying against shipping containers outside the Enduring Faith chapel on Bagram Air Force base with a gunshot wound to her head at about 10:45 p.m. on Sept. 28 last year.
    The Army Criminal Investigation Command report concluded Durkin committed suicide using her Army issue M16 rifle.
    A number of witnesses told investigators they saw Durkin sitting alone with her rifle and using her cell phone minutes before her death.
    One of Durkin’s text messages to a friend said, “If I don’t make it to tomorrow please enjoy your life and be happy. Know I loved you,” the report said.
    The friend told investigators that minutes before Durkin’s death, she received a text message from her that said “it was too late” and that she “was leaving and had her weapon with her.”
    Another close friend of Durkin told investigators that Durkin, a lesbian, felt some people on the base were back-stabbing her and that she was troubled by unrequited affection for a female lieutenant, the report said.
    The colleague also told investigators that Durkin used prescription drugs for insomnia and an arm injury and was “often in a daze.”
    The report said gunshot residue was found on Durkin’s hands and ballistic tests determined the fatal bullet was fired from Durkin’s rifle.
    Durkin’s family is not convinced by the Army CID report after Durkin told them weeks before her death that she found something she “didn’t like” on the base and to investigate if anything happened to her. Durkin was engaged to marry her partner Haidee Loreto.
    Durkin was assigned to the Massachusetts National Guard’s 726th Finance Battalion handling payroll.
    The family was unavailable for comment yesterday.



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    http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/general/view/2008_10_07_Report_details_Quincy_GI_s_suicide/
     

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