Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Justin L O'Donohoe

San Diego, California

May 5, 2006

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
27 Army Spc

10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry)

71st Cavalry Regiment

Fort Drum New York

 Died east of Abad, Afghanistan, in the Kunar province, when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed during combat operations.

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O’Donohoe, Justin Lee
Specialist, United States Army
July 21, 1978- May 5, 2006

And they who for their country die 
Shall fill an honored grave, 
For glory lights the soldier’s tomb, 
And beauty weeps the brave.
Joseph Drake

Justin O’Donohoe, a Cavalry Scout in A Troop, 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry regiment, 10th Mountain Division (LI), was Killed in Action during operations in Kunar Province, Afghanistan on May 5, 2006. He was serving with Task Force Spartan conducting Reconnaissance operations as part of Operation Mountain Lion when his transport helicopter crashed during exfiltration operations. 

Justin was a loving and dedicated son and brother. He was a Warrior and a Patriot of the noblest kind, always choosing the morally right path without effort or regret. He valued honesty and forbearance in himself and was firm and demanding but always fair in his dealings with others. His fierce loyalty to friends, family, and nation was boundless and left a legacy of honor forever. He, during his all too short life, was a gift to all who knew and love him. 

He was born in Pensacola, Florida and moved to San Diego with his family in 1980. He attended Ericson Elementary School, Challenger Junior High School, and graduated from Mira Mesa High School in 1996. He attended San Diego State University where he graduated in 2000 with a degree in Political Science. While growing up Justin was an active, hard nosed defender in Soccer, an accomplished musician for his own enjoyment and dedicated Cub Scout and Boy Scout. As a Boy Scout he was a charter member of Troop 1203 in Mira Mesa where he held every leadership position during his time in the troop. He was also Troop 1203’s first Scout to earn Scouting’s highest award, Eagle. 

After college Justin determined to change directions with his life and worked for a time as a computer lab technician with the San Diego Unified School District. He also became interested in martial arts studying Kung-Fu as well as learning to Fence Saber. Upon great reflection and study he decided to become a soldier. Enlisting in 2004 Justin was assigned to Boot Camp and advanced training at Ft. Knox, Kentucky where he graduated in August 2004. Assigned as a Cavalry Scout in the 3rd Squadron of the 71st Cavalry Regiment in the Third Brigade Combat Team of the Tenth Mountain Division, he quickly became a dedicated and capable Scout serving as the A Troop and 2nd Platoon Commanders’ Top Gunner on the HMMVV. He studied to become a Unit Armorer and certified as an Emergency Medical Technician. His unit deployed in February of 2006 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He died as he lived- jumping in to do the right thing without being told to get their transport helicopter loaded so the last group could get down off the mountain when a rotor blade clipped the mountainside and crashed into a ravine where he was killed with nine of his comrades.

Justin is survived by his parents, Pam and Pat O’Donohoe of San Diego, and his brother, Ensign Kyle O’Donohoe, assigned to flight training in Pensacola, Florida. He is also survived by his grandparents, Joe and Liz O’Donohoe of Bella Vista, AR, his Aunt Anne and Uncle Rick Lainhart of Burbank, CA, Uncle Mike, Aunt Stefani and Cousins Brennan and Shannon O’Donohoe of El Dorado, AR. 

A memorial service is scheduled at First United Methodist Church of San Diego at 11:00 AM Monday May 15 with interment at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at 1:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to the USO or the San Diego-Imperial Council, Boy Scouts of America- Mataguay Endowment Fund.

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