Sergeant Patrick McCaffrey, Senior
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In Loving Memory of Patrick Ryan McCaffrey  / NADIA McCAFFREY (MOM) ,

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Nadia McCaffrey has been in the national spotlight since her son was killed in Iraq and she invited the press to photograph his flag-draped coffin arriving at the airport. She is in Sauk Centre to tour the Oak Ridge campus with hopes of turning it into a Veterans Village.

Patrick McCaffrey, Sr. (right) tends to a fellow soldier just hours before McCaffrey was shot and killed by Iraqi soldiers his unit was training. PHOTOS SUBMITTED

Gold Star Mother
Nadia McCaffrey lost her son in the war in 2004. More than four years later her crusade brings her to Sauk Centre
Nadia McCaffrey has been on the cover of Newsweek, been interviewed by CBS' Dan Rather and has appeared on the Today Show. All because of her crusade to help veterans returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now she is coming to Sauk Centre with hopes of carrying on the legacy of her son Patrick McCaffrey, Sr., who was killed June 22, 2004, by Iraqi soldiers he was training.

 McCaffrey first made headlines when she invited the press to take photos of her son's flag-draped coffin at the airport, shunning a federal ban on such activity. Since then she has founded Veterans Village, which consists of care centers in California, New York and North Carolina that provide veterans transitional housing as they learn to readjust to society. She will be in Sauk Centre today through Thursday touring the Oak Ridge campus (formerly the home school and correctional facility) with hopes of raising awareness and money to help turn it into the largest Veterans Village in the country. "I can see it as a national place, a perfect place to fight homelessness and bring hope to people," she said in a phone interview from New York. McCaffrey points to statistics, alarming statistics of the number of soldiers who are returning from the war with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the physical effects of depleted uranium and other mental and physical issues. These issues lead to homelessness and sometimes suicide, she said. "There are 700,000 homeless vets in our nation" she said. "Think about that. It's unbelievable." McCaffrey is also alarmed by the number of suicides. "We need to stop it," she said. "Every community has veterans and it's the responsibility of each community to welcome them home."

Patrick's legacy Patrick McCaffrey signed up for the National Guard after the 9-11 terrorist attacks, telling his mother he felt he "had to do something." The manager of an auto business and the father of two, he was told he would stay stateside because of his age (34). But he soon found himself deployed to Iraq, where he quickly became a leader in his unit, always being the first one to help others in need. He befriended the Iraqi children who recognized his Humvee and rushed up to it knowing he had extra food and water for them. His giving spirit was evident throughout his lifetime. His mother remembers the time Patrick moved into an apartment and she had bought him some furniture because he had no place to sit and eat. A couple days later when she stopped by with some food she noticed the table and chairs were gone. "He told me he gave them to his friend Raphael because Raphael didn't have anything," she recalled. "That was Patrick." She recalls another time when Patrick befriended a homeless man he saw on his way to work every day. He called his mother and told her that giving him a few bucks here and there wasn't enough, that he really wanted to help him. "I told him to treat him like a human being," she said. It turns out the man was a Vietnam veteran. Patrick found him a job at his auto business and the man worked there for two years until he was back on his feet. More recently, a man showed up at Nadia's home where she keeps a photo of Patrick with his birth date and death date inscribed below. When she opened the door, a man was standing there, in tears. Months earlier Patrick had paid the struggling man to help paint his house and do other odd jobs. He had stopped by to thank Patrick for helping him get back on his feet. He had no idea Patrick had died. "People are always saying, 'Do you know what he did for me?'" Nadia says proudly.

Fateful day Shortly after arriving in Iraq, Patrick would phone home and tell his parents about the hatred the Iraqi people felt toward Americans. It was at the same time the Abu Gharib prison scandal broke.

Then, on June 22, his unit was on patrol, walking in 120-degree heat for several hours. They were training Iraqi soldiers who were supposed to take over the fighting once American soldiers left. But the soldiers turned on McCaffrey's unit, shooting Patrick eight times in the torso and his fellow soldier Andre Tyson in the head. Both men died. Initially Nadia was told conflicting stories of what happened, that he was the victim of sniper fire. But she soon learned the truth after members of her son's unit arrived at her home and told her what happened. She was told one of the shooters was killed shortly thereafter. Another is on trial in Iraq and Nadia, four years later, is still waiting to hear the latest developments. In fact, she was told the trial happened two months ago, but that now there is a new trial underway. She wants to attend the trial, but thinks the military is not notifying her because of safety concerns. Because her son was killed in the war she is now a Gold Star Mother. But she is more than that. Since that fateful day four-plus years ago, her push to do more for veterans has brought her to Sauk Centre. Along with local activist Alice Karakas, the hope is to raise $5 million to make the home a reality in Sauk Centre. But all Nadia McCaffrey has to hear is someone saying it can't be done. It took Patrick's death for her to start her crusade. "I decided to be positive about it," she said. "It's also my way of grieving. It's a victory for me." She couldn't help her son, but maybe she could help the sons of other mothers. "This war is different," she said. "People are suffering from different effects and we don't know the full impact yet. But we do know they need help. They need treatment. They need peace." Providing that peace for others, perhaps, will help her find her own.

Nadia McCaffrey to speak Wednesday, 10 a.m., Oak Ridge Campus (north of Sauk Centre on Highway 71) McCaffrey to discuss plans for turning Oak Ridge campus into a long- and short-term veterans care facility. For more on McCaffrey's mission go to

What has happened?  / JIM MAHONEY (FRIEND)
I wanted to see how some of my old friends were doing. I specifically wanted to see how Pat was doing. When I saw his picture online, I recognized his eyes and thought Wow, he's looking pretty good. Then I read the caption beneath the photo and cried at work.
Pat was a good friend to me in junior high. I wish we had kept in touch over the years.
Its been four years since he passed away. Its been at least twice as long since Pat and I last spoke.
I remember when he got his car in high school, a burly sports car to replace his old compact import wanna-be. He pulled up into my parents driveway and got out, beaming with pride. The only bad thing about the car was that it didn't quite have the pick he was expecting. My dad took a look at it and tweaked the timing. The car immediately revved with a larger-than-life roar. Pat was in awe and gave my dad a hug and then gave me a ride.
I have many memories of him. I wish I could do more than just share them.
My condolences to you and Robert.

Jim Mahoney
Veteran's Village and Patrick's story  / Nel Iro (none)

Dear Ms. McCaffrey,

I am an Iraqi translator who served with the US army in Iraq from 2003 until 2005. I have recently arrived and resettled in the US due to the dangers that, as you may know, surround any Iraqis who help in rebuilding their country and support the US government.
I just came across Veteran's Village and read Patrick's story. It is so touching and I am so proud of him. I can't thank you enough for everything you are doing to heal all those who work for peace to make this world a better place for all of us with no exception. Indeed, after the wars and atrocities that I have witnessed growing up in Iraq and working with the US, my mission in life has become what the great poet June Jordan says in her poem Baghdad:
"Yesterday I learned that those who think that some people should die are already dead!"
Like you, I feel an urgent need to tell people about such stories. since my arrival here, I do speak publicly about all my experiences and try to convey a message of love and peace for all the American people whom I found very welcoming and loving people.
I am just writing to send you a message of peace and appreciation for all that you and your family have done and continue to do for us. I am currently a graduate student at Lehigh University in PA. I am working on my master's degree in English literature. I love writing, and literature is a great wsy to help me communicate with people and help creating a culture of peace. I'd be happy to share my experiences and appreciation any any way you wish me to whether now or in the future.
With a lot of respect,

THE GUARD GOES TO WAR  / Nadia McCaffrey (Mom)

Recent Times coverage
Sgt. 1st Class Norman Valdez, Staff Sgt. Dennis Sarla, Sgt. Timothy McClurg, Cpl. Patrick McCaffrey Sr., and SPC Scott Aponte were part of the four Humvee patrol conducted that night.

These soldiers are all a part of the A/579th Engineers attached to TF Tacoma of the 81st BCT.While conducting their patrol, outside the perimeter, a report came over the radio there had been enemy rockets launched.

They discovered the suspected Point of Origin (POO) was not far from their location.

Minutes later, two Iraqis were seen by a dismounted patrol, riding a motorcycle away from the suspected POO. The Humvees maneuvered into position to intercept the two Iraqis. Valdez stood on top of his Humvee and gestured for the two Iraqis to halt. They were then instructed to leave their motorcycle far away and walk back to where the soldiers were standing and they complied obediently. One of the Iraqis told the soldiers he was part of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, calling out ICDC, also providing identification to prove it.TF Tacoma headquarters ordered Valdez and his crew to detain them. Sarla, McClurg, Aponte and Gonzalez approached and detained the two Iraqis. Only one had identification on him.

One man appeared to be extremely nervous, smoking excessively, while the other one remained calm and appeared to be smiling. Sarla and his men took the Iraqis into custody. The soldiers' small group, calling themselves the Double Deuce, remained calm and performed their duty to perfection. The team reflected the entire ordeal had been a reality check for them.The detainees were taken in the gate by the Fire Support and Scout humvees that were also on the patrol. The FISTERs (fire support soldiers) and Scouts blindfolded the two Iraqis upon taking possession of them. They arrived back at LSA Anaconda for residue testing.Spc. Heather Gardiner is the unsung hero of this detainment.

Gardiner is trained to test potential criminals for residue indicating contact with any sort of explosive device. These two Iraqi Nationals tested positive; one for TNT and the other for both TNT and an explosive known as RDX.
Gardiner said of her results,This test is what would convict them (of launching rockets). She explained presenting her findings, stating I submitted a sworn statement, which my commander requested. This sworn statement could be used in an upcoming trial; a trial that Gardiner may be testifying at. Although Gardiner's job is not one of glory such as the various patrol groups, but without her, the work done by Valdez, Sarla, McClurg, McCaffrey, and Aponte would be for nothing.
The double deuce team with the help of the FISTERs and Scouts did an amazing job of capturing the alleged criminals. Without the test results from Gardiner, the team would not have enough evidence to hold and convict the alleged criminals and their hard work would be lost.
The Gatekeeper

Engineers to Infantrymen:
Soldiers of A Company, 579th Battalion Show their Strength and VersatilityLike other elements of the 81st BCT, the soldiers from A Company of the 579th EN Bn have demonstrated their ability to be both forceful and flexible.
Although they were trained as Combat Engineers, the 579th soldiers work in security and support operations at Logistical Support Area (LSA) Anaconda.
Sgt. Patrick McCaffrey is a team leader for the 579th, and works to provide support and security for patrol groups like the Fire Support Teams (FISTERs) and Scout Teams.
During the patrols, McCaffrey's team occasionally runs into potentially hazardous situations.
Recently he and the rest of his team were involved in the apprehension and capture of two anti-coalition fighters. Another time, McCaffrey and his men ran into a cache of rocket fuses while on patrol.

In addition to providing support for the FISTERs, who they were accompanying, McCaffrey and his team also escorted Explosive Ordinance Demolition (EOD) specialists back to the site.

The 579th soldiers maintained security of the area while the fuses were destroyed with a controlled blast.
Although he sometimes has to confront and overcome dangerous situations, much of McCaffrey's job involves staying prepared and on-guard.
He and his soldiers maintain a strong stance, bracing themselves to defend Anaconda against any crisis that may arise. He and his team have also served as convoy escorts, providing security for shipments of the various classes of staple items--food, water, and fuel.

At home, McCaffrey worked at two auto body shops, where he manages 30 people. Although he is only a corporal in the Army, his experience in the civilian world has sharpened his leadership skills, helping him as he pilots his team. McCaffrey and his fellow 579th soldiers have shined during their brief time at Anaconda.

According to McCaffrey, their company is the spearhead for the 81st Brigade, even though they are working in security operations instead of combat engineering." We have accomplished everything and more the Brigade has expected of us, says McCaffrey. During the Transfer of Authority, the 82nd (Airborne) was very impressed with us.

2nd Lt. Andre Tyson praises McCaffrey's skills and solidness as a soldier.
According to Tyson, McCaffrey has a good head on his shoulders, particularly outside the gate. This is one of my best soldiers, Tyson says.

McCaffrey is modest, however--for him success is a result of group effort. It's not just one guy--it's the whole team.

He chalks up his company's success to hard work and training. We want to excel, he says. " The only way to do that is to do a good job at everything we do".

Holding You in my thoughts and prayers  / Deb Estep (no)

Holding you in my thoughts and prayers.

The Wind on The Downs

“I like to think of you as brown and tall,
As strong and living as you used to be,
In khaki tunic, Sam Brown belt and all,
And standing there and laughing down at me.
Because they tell me, dear, that you are dead,
Because I can no longer see your face,
You have not died, it is not true, instead
You seek adventure in some other place.
That you are round about me, I believe;
I hear you laughing as you used to do,
Yet loving all the things I think of you;
And knowing you are happy, should I grieve?
You follow and are watchful where I go.”

(Written by Marian Allen during World War l )

Two lines that I wish you to keep near your heart…….

“You seek adventure in some other place.
That you are round about me, I believe”

I did not know Patrick, but I am remembering
his service. He is my hero. !

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Other Side

i'm over on the other side
where life and death softly divide.
left my skin and bones behind
now i'm over on the other side.

can you feel me there with you?
my breath is gone but i'm not through.
loved you then and i still do
from over on the other side.

i can fly. really fly.
below the earth ... all through the sky.
tell em all i did not die.
i'm just over on the other side.

it's good here on the other side.
the sweetest songs...the bluest skies.
thank you for the tears you cried
but it's good here on the other side.

i can fly. really fly. below the earth...all through the sky.
tell em all i did not die.
i'm just over on the other side

the world is smaller than a needle's eye.
where life and death softly divide.
when you leave your skin and bones behind
i'll be waiting on the other side.

i can fly. really fly. below the earth ... all through the sky.
go tell em all i did not die.
i'm just over on the other side.

Song lyrics by Don Conoscenti
C Desert Muse/SESAC
(Used with permission)

“I hope it brings great comfort to any and all.
Peace on you. DonCon” 4-2008

The Other Side –


Deb Estep ~ Ohio
Proud Air Force Mom and MIL

Remembering The Fallen – Blog

Angel and soldier drawing I have shared here.

To the family of Sgt Patrick McCaffrey  / Peggy Childers (none)

"June 24, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Patrick R. McCaffrey, Sr.:
Patrick gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away""
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

Tribute to Patrick  / Nadia McCaffrey (Mom)

Tribute to my Son

"Here's a link to a film my brother and I made recently for Veteran's Village, a charity founded by Nadia McCaffrey, mother of fallen American soldier Patrick McCaffrey.
Roughly 30% of American soldiers are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD. Veteran's Village is a healing oasis to help vets reintegrate into society".

MEMORIAL DAY  / Kenneth Crawford (Veteran)
"Today in San Francisco, I had the duty of reading the names of my fellow Veterans who passed away while serving our country. I read the names of all those who died in June 2004. Among those was your name. I currently work with those Veterans that come home, and today was a time to remmeber those that did not make it home. You are truly a hero and my heart goes out to your family.

Kenneth Crawford"
Kenneth of San Francisco, CA USA

MEMORIAL DAY  / Juliet &. Leo C. (Client)

Dear Mrs. Mc Caffrey,

We are just regular people whose lives were touched by Patrick.

Sometime in 2003 or 2004, my car was rear ended and Farmers Insurance brought the car to Akins in Palo Alto. That's where I met Patrick who gave me the best excellent service. I didn't ask for anything to get that special treatment. I guess it was just normal to him to provide excellent service.

Before our car was to be released, he said he will turn over it to his assistant whose name I forgot now. He said he will be deployed to Iraq, my wife didn't know if she would hug him or wish him luck because we were at a loss for words. We wished him our prayers and luck. When I got my car, he already left. We can still remember his voice on his voicemail.

Today, Tuesday (Oct. 16) 3 years later, we have to go to Akins because my sister's car had an accident. I checked on the counter hoping to see Patrick and I felt nervous not seeing him. Instead a new manager named George met us. Our heart sank when we learned about the bad news. Me and my wife had a bad day today. We were thinking about Patrick the whole day.

We were just regular people who just met Patrick casually in the course of his work as the GM of Akins. What more with you, his mother and.... Silvia. We can feel your pain.

Our heart goes to you Mrs. McCaffrey. We will always pray for Patrick. We'd like to know where he is resting so we can offer our prayers.

Our thoughts love and prayers are with you.

Leo & Juliet 

We are So Sorry For Your Loss* Thank You

Dear Mrs. McCaffrey,

Every year, Memorial Day has just been a mall discount
and shopping day for us.

Today, that has changed. Today, it has a special
meaning for us. Every Memorial Day, we will light a
candle in memory of Patrick, whose casual acquaintance
changed our lives.

We hope to meet you soon. We are always praying for
you and Patrick's Family.


I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU OR THAT DAY!  / Adam Henson (Comrad in Arms )

SGT McCaffrey,

I won't forget giving you a hard time for sitting on my bunk everytime you came into the tent to talk to Grizzley 2-2. I won't forget the look of your first weapon when we got into country.

I won't forget the night we caught the first two bad guys by the canal on there motorcycle. I won't forget all the talks we had in the smoke pit outside our tents. I will never forget that hot day in June 2004 and everything that took place.

I will never forget the look on your mom's face the day she saw you on the side of the dedication vehicle.

PATRICK, I will never forget YOU!!!! R.I.P. and God Bless your family always.

MSG Adam S Henson 

I knew Patrick in high school  / Anna (High School )
and I remember what a nice guy he was.  I was so sad to learn of his passing.  My condolences to all of his friends and family.
MOTHER's DAY 2008  / Nadia McCaffrey (MOTHER)
May 11 2008

Mother's Day?
What is the meaning of these two words?
By Nadia McCaffrey

The fact is that there is no one left to call me Mother anymore!
I need to gather myself in order to remain psychologically sound.
As every year, for four years, this year is unlike the last, as time goes, the harder, the more excruciating the pain has become. I miss Patrick's voice telling me:
I love you Mom.
..just calling out of the blue for no reason, that was typical of Patrick .
I have the regret to say that I had not fully grasped the deep meaning of his spontaneous actions, I always have loved him so very much, just seeing him for a short few minutes made my day worth while.
Patrick was born 38 years ago (May 26 1970) at Stanford University Hospital, weighing just over five pounds at 1:30 pm his birth took an hour, what an amazing day that was, Bob and I just became parents of a child that one day would become a legend in his own way and a role model for many.
What have I accomplished since Patrick's death?
I feel as I am drowning in the middle of an ocean without shores. I cannot think of myself, my thoughts are not here.
Someone said to me once: "Nadia everything that you do is about Patrick or because of Patrick"
I never had thought of it this way, but it probably has some truth!
Memories…My Darling son has not faded in any way from my vision, my memory, and my emotions. Last week, walking by the wheat crackers section of the supermarket, I suddenly burst into tears, seeing in my minds eye the very last package that we had sent to Camp Anaconda, Patrick never received it... he was killed instead and the package came back to us un-opened from Iraq, never got his "Altama" desert boots either.
The boots forever empty will never be worn and are now on display near his medals and photographs.
On his daily phone call, I remember his words with a heaviness of despair in his voice, asking me if we had sent the package yet. He needed his boots, the old pair was holding with duct tape.
I remember three days after Patrick's death, his house in Tracy, was packed with flowers and people, we happened to be watching a series of digital photographs that the soldiers had send us from Iraq, on the computer with Jeanne (who had babysat for him in Sunnyvale) others were standing behind my chair, suddenly we stared at one-another with tears rolling down our cheeks while we all became speechless the room stood in a perfect still, an heavenly scent of roses filled the room so powerfully, after a moment Silvia shouted: Mom…it's Patrick, he his here with us now…
I remember the day of Patrick's Memorial at Fry's Chapel, hundred's of people came, and many stood outside the chapel. Patrick Junior and Janessa Marie were playing in the chapel and laughing, I finally got a hold of Junior who was nine years old at the time, and talk to him gently explaining and at the same time asking if he understood that it was his father inside the flag draped coffin standing before us and that was not respectful to run inside the place. Junior looked at me and said:
yea grandma but, when is my Daddy coming home?
My jaw dropped, and I understood at this instant that we were heading for a long haul of sad emptiness in our lives…
It was hot, after briefly talking to the large number of media; we headed back to the house, while Patrick's body left for his last Home in Oceanside. We had to get ready to proceed in driving ourselves to meet at the cemetery for a very last ceremony. I was in the TV room; Janessa was playing with Lucky in the backyard. Janessa came in the house shouting: Grandma, she had a strong hold of my hand and pull me outside with her, pointing at the lemon tree, she said: you see daddy is here, he loves Janessa, grandma can he stay with us now?
She had this marvelous spark in her eyes and smile that she only had in Patrick's presence. I was choking and sobbing, in tears that wouldn't stop, of course only Janessa saw her Daddy, I felt Patrick's powerful and loving self…
There isn't a moment in a day where his presence is not at my side; Patrick is my strength, my motivation, my only reason of still existing.
With his love I made up a fabric of idealistic dreams dictated by his very own.
The main question is:
Is it happening? Is the Dream Happening?
If it is, then why does it seem never to end, the dream, I mean.
The Centers, I can see them, touch them, walk in them; I know that the materialization is near completion, the interest in the efficiency and purpose of the vision itself has become national and even international.
Do I have the power to close the chapter of this project before life exits my body? I am not so sure anymore.
I know that I am at cross-roads where the choice is made available to me. The temptation of letting go is strong, not waking up seems easy enough; my health is degrading on daily basis.
The challenge has become a black wall where I cannot see the top nor the end, I am becoming exhausted, it is hard to breath, it is painful inhaling each breath this body is telling me to hurry up and finish what I have started, I feel like I am literally falling apart and I am not sure that I can reverse the process I need a miracle to stay alive enough time to finish my mission... we will see!
Holding on to life by a thread, I need to keep my vision undisturbed until completion.
On the other end I want to fulfill Patrick's wishes and be the grandma that he wanted me to be.
Yes, but what am I going to do about it?
I feel very proud of my grand children, Junior has come a long way since Patrick's death, every day he acts and looks more like his dad and he is becoming quiet an athlete and a gentleman as well as a peace maker. Once in a while he and I have a serious talk. Patrick would be so proud of him now, and I make a point to tell him that, I also remind Junior that he can do whatever he choose to do in life and stay with it, never quit. Those are some of Patrick last words to Junior. I truly enjoy his company and conversation, he shows a very healthy curiosity of a bright mind.
His Heart is in a very good place, I love him very much.
My little Janessa is still struggling hard, she needs her dad so badly, they were so close to each other.
I remember, when Patrick came home from boot camp, the family came to welcome him in Santa Rosa airport, the soldiers lined up by the airplane and started to walk in our direction there was quiet a distance and before any one of us could see Patrick, Janessa started to climb the wire fence and screaming Daddy Daddy my Daddy, Silvia and I had a bad time holding on to her, she was 2 years old... She eventually run off into the field toward the long line of National guardsmen and women, straight to her Dad, Patrick did the same thing, run off from the orderly walk to pick up Janessa in his strong arms both laughing to tears and holding on tight to each other…it was quiet a site!
And then there is the LION KING.
Patrick and Janessa both were sitting in the master bedroom watching the Lion King, Janessa would watch the Disney feature 5 times (average) daily.
This took place the night before Patrick left for deployment to Iraq.
I was listening to their voices thinking sadly that this family joy was coming to an end.
At the part where the Lion King is killed in "an ambush" betrayed by his brother, Janessa grabbed on to her father so hard and made a knot of her little fingers around Patrick's neck almost crying telling him:
"Daddy that's you, Daddy that's you…"
Patrick run to me in the kitchen where Silvia and I were cooking dinner for all of us, and his face was flushed: Mom, do you know what Janessa just told me?
I am not coming back am I Mom?
Of course I said, she is just a baby sweet heart, she doesn't know…but, did Janessa have the knowledge of her Daddy's faith?
After that day Patrick had left his home never to walk through the door again, it became a tradition for Janessa and I to watch the Lion King on daily basis and every time the film reached the death of the Lion she curled up close to me and keep saying to me" Grandma that's my Daddy…
Her will is strong and her heart is golden, she truly is a gift.
In some ways I am afraid for her she is such a rebel just like I, it makes me feel helpless, I know who she is.
Janessa is making so much progress in school now, thank goodness for a great tutor.
Last holiday was the closest of a Christmas we have had since 2004.
We trooped together at Bob's house in Bella Vista with Janessa Marie, Patrick Junior, Silvia and I. It was a delight to watch Patrick's children re-discovering each other after a much too long separation and Lucky (Patrick's dog) was very joyful to see all of us.
The last evening we had in Tracy as a family, Patrick opened up, he and I talked on the bench, the silence was heavy and meaningful between words.
Later that evening he asked me to get the Medicine Cards and he picked one of the them, it was the RAVEN, laughing he pointed at his shoulder patch : Mom I am a Raven! (Patrick was attached to the 81 Brigade from Washington "The Ravens" his Unit the 579 from Petaluma was small, 90 soldiers)
The card had this words to share "Open yourself to Miracles Use new eyes, Believe in Magic Embrace life's Wonders"
Watching the crows and ravens flying around us, Patrick would laugh and say: If I don't make it back, I will be here watching over all of you, I will be.
Patrick was shot eight times with the cards on his chest.

Nadia McCaffrey Gold Star Mother of Patrick R McCaffrey
Patrick's portrait  / Nadia McCaffrey (Mother)

Many people have asked for Patrick's portrait or a T-Shirt with Patrick on it. Well here it is!

From Army Time, Newsweek, Washington Post, LA Time  / Nadia McCaffrey (Mother)

PTSD home opposed for fear of ‘deranged’ vets

By Scott Lindlaw - The Associated Press
Posted : Sunday Mar 23, 2008 10:01:06 EDT

GUERNEVILLE, Calif. — Merry Lane, a cul-de-sac shaded by redwoods in Sonoma County wine country, would seem a pleasant place to recover from the psychic wounds of war. Nadia McCaffrey’s dream is to set up a group home there for veterans plagued by post-traumatic stress disorder.

But she is running into stiff resistance from the neighbors. They not only object to the brand-new structure itself, which looks like a four-story apartment house wedged amid their cabins, they are also worried that deranged veterans will move in.

At a community meeting in December, “one person was concerned that even firecrackers would set these people off,” said Andrew Eckers, 54, who lives across the street.

McCaffrey, whose son was killed in Iraq in 2004, said she has tried to reassure the neighbors, but “they are afraid of it because they don’t want to understand it.”

Projects similar to McCaffrey’s have cropped up in other communities across the country, with some also raising concerns from neighbors, in part because of the many news accounts of traumatized veterans committing suicide or murder.

“We’re all, frankly, failing in properly educating society about what PTSD is and what its effects are,” said Jon Soltz, an Iraq war veteran and chairman of, a veterans advocacy group.

McCaffrey wants to set up at least three group homes around the country where vets with PTSD could live temporarily, and virtually for free, while they study at a college or work at a farm. Donations are paying for the projects, she said.

In Guerneville, a community of about 2,500 where the Russian River draws tourists in the summer, the light green building nestled into a carved-out hillside stands empty.

The county issued a stop-work order because the project exceeded the scope of the plans that were filed, said Shems Peterson, Sonoma County supervising building inspector. Among other things, the project had unauthorized plumbing. Also, a wall meant to divert landslides was deemed insufficient.

Neighbors have raised complaints about the cutting down of several redwoods to make way for the home, the lack of parking and the size of the building, which would house a half-dozen veterans.

“They are inappropriate buildings for the neighborhood. They’re not single-family residences,” said Mark Mondragon, 41. “This could have been Grandmothers for Harmonious Peace, and it wouldn’t have made a difference.”

Jan De Wald, who lives a couple houses down Merry Lane, said too many questions remain unanswered about the project, including who sits on the board, who is the president and what is the staffing.

Most residents said worries about unhinged veterans are not driving the opposition. Eckers emphasized that his primary concern is that the project would open the door to more apartment buildings. But he also raised questions about the screening and supervision of the veterans.

“Generally PTSD guys are normal people,” Eckers said. But he added: “Some are shell-shocked, and they need to be in an institution.”

McCaffrey said screening would be done by veterans and a psychiatrist, and supervision would come from volunteers from a nearby veterans clinic.

“We will not accept anyone who’s not completely functional,” she said.

Rogelio Martinez, 26, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army Airborne Ranger, said he was diagnosed with PTSD and sought counseling at the urging of his older brother, a military officer. But he said he would have benefited from the type of group housing that McCaffrey is proposing.

“If it wasn’t for my brother, I might be one of those homeless vets on the street,” Martinez said in a telephone interview from San Antonio. “A place like that would be ideal for a person like me or a person in my shoes who didn’t have someone to lean on, like an older brother, to get help.”

AP (The associated Press)  / Nadia McCaffrey (Mom)

 'Casualty Mom' Helping Vets ...
Four years after losing her son Patrick in Iraq, Nadia McCaffrey is now attemp...ting to build a farm near her Northern California home where Iraq War veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder can recuperate. (March 17)
From:AP Video

Another Saint Patrick's day without you.....  / Nadia McCaffrey (Mom)


St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated annually on March 17 in honor of Ireland's patron saint. St. Patrick was born between 370 and 390 C. E. in the Roman Empire in Britain. His given name (Magonus Sucatus or Maewyn Succat) was changed to Patricius (Patrick) either after his baptism or after he became a priest. At the age of 16, Patrick was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Ireland. He remained in captivity for six years during which time he worked as a shepherd and began to have religious visions. During one of the visions, Patrick became aware of a rescue ship and he fled to France.

Patrick eventually returned to Ireland as a missionary and succeeded in converting the Irish to Christianity. He used a shamrock to explain the Trinity to potential converts. The three leaves of the shamrock represented the father, son, and holy spirit. Patrick is also reported to have driven all of the snakes, a pagan symbol, out of Ireland and into the sea where they drowned. This is perhaps a metaphor for driving paganism out of Ireland since biologists believe there were no snakes in Ireland at the time.

St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the United States are secular and date back as far as 1737 when Boston held its first St. Patrick's Day parade. The day is celebrated with green beer, the wearing of green clothing, and parades. However, in Ireland, the day is primarily a religious occasion.

Because many Americans celebrate their Irish lineage on St. Patrick's Day, March was chosen as Irish American Heritage Month. The month was proclaimed in 1995 by Congress (Public Law 103-379).

I am PROUD to have known you  / Dan Nevins (Friend /Brother in Arms )

My Brother,

we didn't talk much while serving together, but when we did, there was always substance and the more I got to know who you were at your core the more I respected you.  I would have loved to have you in my squad as I am sure every squad leader would have.  You always went above and beyond and that is a testimony to what a great person you were. I want to  tell you that I feel that your sacrifice, though tragic and untimely, was not in vain and history will tell the tale much differently than it is in the present.  So, as you look down on the rest of us, I hope that you will understand that.  At least that is the way I feel.  You left too early to know, but on 10 Nov 2004, when another of our brothers (SFC Mike Ottolini) paid the ultimate sacrifice, I was severely injured in the same explosion.  I lost my left leg in the explosion and after 27 surgeries, after being evacuated to Walter Reed they were able to save my right leg.  Now, three years later, I am back at Walter Reed having the right leg amputated.  It was just too much pain to deal with daily and the recurring bone infections were "show stoppers".  Now that I have had the surgery on the 23rd of January 08, I feel much  better, and Hopefully I will be walking again soon.

I know that we have made our sacrifices for a just and good reason, and I am PROUD to have known you and served with you.  I will ALWAYS remember you, as well as Andre and Mike, in addition to all of those who made it home on their own power, but have their continuing battles that go unseen.

Again, Thank You for being the man who you were.  I am honored to have served in the same unit with you, in the same Army, and for the the Greatest Nation in the World, and Proud to have fought with you as a brother in arms for a cause that history will view as necessary and just.  God Bless you and yours.

Your Brother,

 SSG (R) Dan Nevins

Patrick McCaffrey Sr Avenue, Tracy, CA  / Nadia McCaffrey (Mother)

Tracy has picked out new subdivisions in which streets will be named after troops killed in the Iraq war.
By John Upton

Tracy casualties of Operation Iraqi Freedom will be honored on street signs in new Tracy neighborhoods.A 20-year-old City Council policy instructs developers to name at least one street in every new subdivision after a current or past resident killed while serving in the armed forces In the late 90s, we ran out of names, which was great; planner Victoria Lombardo said Thursday and now, unfortunately, we have new ones Sgt.

 Patrick McCaffrey lived on a Street named after one of Tracy casualties of the Vietnam War until he was killed in Iraq in 2004 After he found out he was going to deploy, said McCaffreys mother, Nadia McCaffrey, he said,

Well, I hope theres not going to be a street named after me Of course, we laughed at the time. 
A street named after Patrick McCaffrey will be in the Southgate subdivision, according to Lombardo which is being built south of the western end of Schulte Road. My grandson is now 12, Nadia McCaffrey said. 
He was talking about it this Memorial weekend, and I said, Yeah, if you are patient, we will be able to go into the street thats named after your dad. Hes really excited he always asks about it .

A street there will also be named after Sgt. Steven Bridges, who died in December 2003. His mother, Loreta Bridges, said Thursday she was excited by the news.Streets in the Yosemite Vista subdivision will be named after Pfc. Jesse Martinez and Lance Cpl. Brandon Dewey. Yosemite Vista is being built east of MacArthur Drive and south of Schulte Road. It will keep Jesses name and him alive in the towns eyes,  Martinezs mother, Jan Martinez, said Thursday.
A street will be named after Sgt. 1st Class Tung Nguyen in Tiburon Village a 103-home project planned northwest of the corner of MacArthur Drive and Valpico Road. Kimball Lornes spokesman Bill Stanton said he expects home construction to begin in Tihuron Village next spring. 

Joseph Menusa Lane, near Lowell Avenue and Corral Hollow Road, was named for Sgt. Joseph Menusa after he became (he first serviceman killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. Tracy casualties of the war in Iraq will be honored in new Tracy neighborhoods, following a 20-year-old City Council policy to name at least OflC Street in every new subdivision after a resident killed while serving in the armed forces.

Remembering Patrick...  / Chrissy Loya (Friend)
"To Patrick's mother, 
it has taken me so long to find the words to say how sorry I am about him. I met u briefly one day on Roosevelt when Pat had is as he called it his (muscle car,)So funny & so into making sure everyone else was ok, a shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh with, he was one that brightened my day. All the advice he had given me about do's & don'ts will not be forgotten. Our friendship was for a very long time even though we went to different schools. Him at Homestead and me at Fremont. The smile on his face, u got to love it. I have so much to say, but it hurts so much to know my friend is gone but not far away & to meet him in heaven,I can not wait for that day. So my condolences go out to his wife & kids,& from the pictures that I have seen are so beautiful & to u of course his dear mother that he talked so often of.
I will remember the smile he has & the one star that shines so bright knowing he is looking down on all he knows & loves so much. "God Bless You All""
Chrissy Loya of Sunnyvale, Ca

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