I wanted to remember. This was, I am ashamed to say, the first local military funeral I had ever attended. It was in Feb of 2007. The temperature never got above 10 degrees F. I did not know Sgt Callahan or any of his family. It was at the urging of my wife that we attended the service. And so, we will all remember Sgt Callahan.
Birth: Jun. 8, 1975
Death: Jan. 24, 2007
Sgt. 1st Class Keith A. Callahan of McClure, Pa. and Fayetteville, NC., joined the Army in 1996 and joined the 82nd Airborne Division in October 2001. He won two Fort Bragg boxing titles, earning the nickname "Bam-Bam" Callahan. This was his fourth deployment to Iraq and his military awards and decorations include the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star medal. Keith grew up in Woburn, attending the Clapp Elementary School, Daniel L. Joyce Middle School, and Woburn High School, Class of 1993. While in high school he was very active in sports, participating in baseball, wrestling and football. Following high school Keith enlisted in the United States Army, and first arrived in Georgia for his bootcamp training. Following bootcamp he then went to Ft. Bennington, Georgia, where he was involved in the Basic Airborne Course. Following this training he then reported to the 82nd Airborne Division and was assigned as a fire team leader in 2nd Bn., 325th AIR. Sgt. Callahan had three previous deployments with the Second Brigade in support of "Operation Iraqi Freedom." He had been described as "much more than a paratrooper; he was a warrior that embodied the spirit of freedom." Over the last seven years he had been the recipient of the following medals, awards and decorations: the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Army Commendation, the Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Army Good Conduct Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Expert Infantry Badge and the Ranger Tab and Senior Parachutists Badge. t the time of his death his sole concern was for the welfare of his men, as he had deliberately posted himself at a critical road crossing to act as an additional security element to ensure the security of his platoon. Sgt. Callahan had a great love of family. Growing up he was one of eight children, who were "all for one and one for all." His best friends were his brothers and sisters, with whom he shared many happy times through out his life. Since he became a member of the United States Army, he was in constant contact with his mother, assuring her that he was taking good care of all of us. While in Iraq his mother would send "care" packages over to him there, which he shared with his fellow troops, and then he began to receive packages from the Goodyear and Clapp School students as well as "residents of Hiawatha Road" He was absolutely thrilled and proud that members of his community would take the time to remember him over there in such a loving, kind and generous way. Keith was the grandson of the late William and Cecilia Haverty and Bernard and Barbara Callahan. The Keith A. Callahan Learning Center was dedicated at Woburn High School in May 2007 in his honor. He was 31.
325th Airborne Infantry Regiment
82nd Airborne Division
Fort Bragg, North Carolina