Hello friends. I am taking time today to pay tribute to a young man who was tragically taken from us at the age of 21. My friend, Cathy, whom I hired 10 years ago, and her husband, Lee, lost their son, Michael, in Iraq last week.
Mike was a vibrant and energetic young man. I met him at the age of 11 when Cathy brought him to our company's "Take Your Child to Work Day". He had the best sense of humor which stayed with him as he got older. He was an Eagle Scout who loved his country. His project was to put the flags of the US and all branches of the armed forces in a park in his home town. This park can be seen from the front window of his parents' home and is in front of the Baptist Chuch where he belonged. Mike was involved in sports had the brightest smile and a warm and generous spirit.
He had made it his mission in Iraq to try to assist the children and asked for donations from the people in his town that he could give to the kids. He recently was promoted to corporal. His unit was among the most dangerous, being the first to go into an area. He, 3 other soldiers and an interpreter came upon a bunker and were tragically ambushed. All were killed. Mike continued to shoot even while injured, in an area where his body armor had not protected him. He radioed for assistance, but by the time the Medivac arrived it was too late.
Today I went to his calling hours to honor this brave young man who has been postumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. A young life taken too soon...
It was the saddest thing I have ever attended. My heart aches for my friends and their remaining daughter and son-in-law. How do you go on?
Please pray for them. Thanks for listening. This war has to stop. God Bless you, Mike.
BURLINGTON FLATS _ Army Cpl. Michael L. Mayne, 21, of Burlington Flats, died Monday Feb. 23, 2009, due to injuries sustained in Iraq during his service to our country.
Michael was born Oct. 9, 1987, in Ilion, the son of Lee and Cathy (Francisco) Mayne.
With his two friends Tony and Tom, he joined the Boy Scouts. His Eagle Scout project dedicated poles and flags for each branch of the United States Armed Forces on the Burlington Flats Veterans Memorial Park. Michael also played football, basketball and golf in high school, and participated in the ski club, Jr. Rifle and Sporter Rifle Team at the Burlington Flats Fish & Game Club.
After graduation from Edmeston, he joined the United States Army in July of 2006. Before his Iraq deployment, Michael was stationed at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, the home base of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division. The brigade deployed to Diyala Province in Iraq last fall for a yearlong tour of duty.
Michael was a first-rate friend, he was a natural- born leader. He offered to many his unique sense of humor and compassion for others. For one so young, it is hard to imagine the diverse depths of Michael: be it his commitment to Boy Scouts, his family, close friends, God, and Country. He was a hero.
Michael is survived by his parents, Lee and Cathy Mayne; his sister, Sherry and brother-in-law, John Hawes; his grandmother, Lucille, great-aunts and -uncles, Anne and Dick Weiss, and Dawn Hull; aunts and uncles, Dale and Iva Mayne, Dennis and Theresa Mayne, Cindy Prill, Elaine and Rich Volpe, Gloria and Rob Lindsay. Several cousins and spouses, Paula, Greg, Alan and Kristen, Jason and Robin, Brian, Adam and Dawne, Ryan, Marley and Gavin.
His grandparents, Herbert Mayne, Howard and Eloise Francisco, and cousin, Paul Prill, predeceased Michael.
Full honor military funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 3, at Edmeston Central School gymnasium with Pastor Jay Henderson and Lt. Col. Olsen officiating.
Calling hours will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday, March 2, at the Burlington Flats Baptist Church. Ceremonies by Troop 9 Boy Scout and Cub Scouts and Wharton Valley American Legion Post No. 1311 will be held at 7 p.m.
Interment will be in the Burlington Flats Cemetery in the spring.
Contributions may be made in memory of Michael Mayne to the Edmeston Central School Scholarship Fund.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.hjtfuneralhome.com.
Funeral arrangements are by the Houk-Johnston-Terry Funeral Home, Edmeston.
Published in The Daily Star on 2/28/2009