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Young man found dead Saturday in Batavia was Iraq War veteran

By Howard B. Owens

A young man who was found dead outside the Blockbuster store on Lewiston Road on Saturday night was being treated for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) at the VA Medical Center in Batavia, according to an obituary published in the Albany Times-Union.

The obituary reports that James M. Maher, 27, died of injuries sustained in a fall.

The official cause of death remains under investigation. It has been categorized by Batavia Police as an "unattended death." No foul play is suspected.

Maher was an Iraq war veteran, having served an 11-month tour in Iraq with the Army 101st Armored Division, earning the Combat Infantry Badge and the Army Achievement Medal.

A 2000 graduate of Mechanicville High School, Maher entered he military and served in New York City immediately after 9/11.

He was born in Saratoga Springs, July 17, 1982, son of Michael Maher and Janet (Tony) Amoroso, both of Mechanicville.

According to the obituary:

After being released, James worked at several mortgage brokerage firms in the Capital Region, and lastly worked for Royal Pharmaceuticals of Malta. Growing up, James was always the "daredevil" of the group, enjoyed bridge jumping, parachute jumps and parasailing, or as his family says, "The faster and higher, the better."

Donations are encouraged in his name to Jack Wisby PTSD Clinic, c/o Dr. Paul Harrigan, VAWNY Health Clinic, 222 Richmond Ave., Bldg. 5, Batavia, NY 14020.

Karen Miconi


The soldier stood and faced his God Which must always come to pass...
He hoped his shoes were shining Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, you soldier, How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek? To My Church have you been true?"
The soldier squared his shoulders and Said,"No, Lord, I guess I ain't...
Because those of us who carry guns Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays And at times my talk was rough,
And sometimes I've been violent, Because the streets are awfully tough.
And I never passed a cry for help, Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me, I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place Among the people there...
They never wanted me around, Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord, It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much, But if you don't, I'll understand."
There was a silence all around the throne Where the saints had often trod...
As the soldier waited quietly, For the judgment of his God,
"Step forward now you soldier,
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

Dedicated To All That Serve... God Bless America!

Nov 10, 2009, 8:48am Permalink

Thank you Karen. I heard this before at a memorial and it chokes me up everytime. I have known so many good people that have seen so many horrific things. Yet I have met so many vets that walk with the pride of this nation as their blanket.

Tomorrow is a day of rememberance to all those, like James, who have died in one way or another in service of this nation. Please take a moment to remember them as you enjoy your day off, if you have it.

Nov 10, 2009, 9:10am Permalink
Karen Miconi

Thank You Gentlemen, I will never forget the sacrifices our Brave men and women give every day for our freedom. I always display our country's American Flag with gratefulness, pride, and at times sadness. God Bless America, and her Soldiers of Peace.
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Nov 11, 2009, 11:48am Permalink

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