|From Lafayette Indiana Journal & Courier jconline.com
Twin Lakes graduate killed in Iraq
By ERIC WEDDLE
November 2, 2007
Army Capt. Timothy I. McGovern, formerly of Idaville, was a month away from finishing a second Iraq tour of duty when he was killed Wednesday.
The 28-year-old graduate of Twin Lakes High School and Purdue University was leading troops in combat operations inside Mosul when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle, according to the Department of Defense.
"He gave his life to this country," said Mike Wright, McGovern's uncle, teacher and coach.
Assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, out of Fort Bliss, Texas, McGovern was captain of a 90-member unit.
"He did what he was wanting to do," said Wright, who had been his nephew's social studies teacher. "The work he was doing, working on roadside bombs -- that is what he wanted."
During high school, McGovern
excelled in honors classes and especially liked social studies, history and economics. He also wreaked havoc on the gridiron and threw the discus and shot put during track and field seasons.
"He was a down and dirty lineman" on some of coach Mark Hay's successful mid-'90s football teams, Wright said.
The news of McGovern's passing shook many of the Twin Lakes faculty who remembered McGovern as an outstanding and energetic student, principal Keith Brakel said.
"We have several Twin Lakes graduates in the service now," he said.
Graduating high school in 1997, McGovern attended Purdue and joined the ROTC, which was no surprise to his military family.
Bill McGovern, Timothy's father, served in the Army and distant cousins have followed suit, Wright said.
Growing up around Lake Shafer and in Idaville, McGovern and Wright's only son, Sean, grew up like brothers, playing sports, hunting, and acting out army games.
After graduating from Purdue in 2001, McGovern's first tour of Iraq began in the spring of 2002.
"He was on his very first tour when the war in Iraq started, and when he came home he didn't hesitate to do another," Wright said.
In regular Internet contact with his parents, McGovern often assured them that working at a dusty desk was the most dangerous part of his job, Wright said
His father's military background helped him and his wife, Jonell, accept the danger their son was in.
"They are doing well enough to know that he was doing what he wanted," Wright said. "But everyone is dealing with a heavy heart. His mom and dad, his sister, Miranda, all the family, and the grandparents."
Funeral arrangements are pending at Springer-Voorhis-Draper Funeral Home in Monticello.
No longer a resident of Idaville, McGovern was in the process of buying a house in El Paso, Wright said.
As a unit leader, McGovern would have contacted families if a soldier under his command was killed. But he didn't have to.
"He was able to do his job without sending a note or a letter to a mom and dad -- no one was killed," Wright said. "For this to happen to him has been very hard to swallow."
The Mosul blast also killed Army Spc. Brandon W. Smitherman, 21, of Conroe, Texas, according to the Defense Department.
McGovern is the second soldier from Idaville to be killed in Iraq since 2004.
In July 2006, Army Spc. Nathaniel Baughman, 23, died when his convoy was hit by an enemy rocket in Bayji, Iraq.