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March 09, 2005




Hey buddy, it's been a little over four years now. It's Memorial Day weekend 2009 and I just wanted you to know you haven't been forgotten. I still think of you often from the days at Fort Campbell. Thank you Sean for your dedication and sacrifice for our country. We'll hang out again one day.


Michael McPharlin

Hello Sean,

Miss you brother and am thinking of you, not only this Memorial Day, but everyday I think of losses in my life. Just over 12 years since MSU - my favorite ROTC in a tie-dyed shirt, I WILL NEVER FORGET. Thank you and your family for your life and sacrifices - my sons will learn lessons that you taught me my friend. In Loving Memory on this Memorial Weekend 2009 for my friend and brother - Sean Grimes.


The Family of Michael McPharlin

K.N. McBride

Thank you.

Jarold (Tom) Johnston MAJ AN

In Memory of CPT Sean Grimes

I wanted to take a moment to talk about my friend Sean Grimes. We were never what you would call “close friends” but we new each other well enough. Sean and I met in Officer Basic Training at Fort Sam Houston, we were stationed together in Germany as nurses, but it was clear that Nursing was not in Sean’s future, he clearly wanted to be a PA and to serve with the boys on the front line. All of this was pre- 9/11 and I simply couldn’t understand why anyone with such a comfortable job would want to be a front line PA.

In 2000 we both PCS’d from Germany and lost touch with each other easily. Our paths crossed again back in San Antonio in 2002. I was there as a Captain in Officer Advanced Course, Sean was there as a First Lieutenant (1LT) for PA school. He volunteered to take a reduction in rank to become a 1LT, it was then that I realized Sean was headed for greatness. There was one dedicated trooper. Certainly, I gave him a ration for taking that reduction, but secretly I respected his dedication.

From there we lost touch again until I heard about his death in Iraq on 4 March 2005 when his armored HUMV hit an IED in Ramadi. A mutual friend and I were talking and reminiscing when Sean came up. She told me the story as she knew it. After PA school Sean made his way to Korea where he happily served with the warriors at the point of the spear. While there an opportunity came for Sean to go to Iraq and of course, he jumped at it.

I’ve since had a lot of time to reflect on Sean’s life and his sacrifice. I’ve done some reading on the internet news services quoting Sean’s family, and I’ve talked to a lot of people who knew him better than I did. No matter who I talk to, everyone says the same thing. Sean died a happy man; he died a soldier’s death; he lived and died honorably. Who could ask for more? One article quoted his brother Dan saying:

"He was a soldier because he firmly believed that was the best way he could make a difference in the world. He was very devoted to the soldiers who served under him and never wanted to leave them. Sean was a wonderful son, brother, nephew and uncle. He died fighting for what he believed in, and our entire family is extremely proud of his service. Sean will always be a hero to us, and he will be sorely missed by his family and his many friends."

Is there any more fitting tribute to a soldier? It truly captures what soldiers want if we are forced to give our lives for our country.

I’ve talked to a lot of people who mourn the loss of life in the War on Terror. I’ve heard many who complain that this effort isn’t worth the lives of such fine young men and women. I’m not here to advocate the validity of the war one way or the other, but I want to say that the American People need not worry about us in military.

Soldiers are not fools; Soldiers are patriotic, hard working, down to earth heroic Americans. We are not “Boys in Uniform”, we are Warriors, we are Spartans. We were not tricked into our fate, we volunteered willingly. 9/11 was 7 years ago, anyone in the Army now has either volunteered knowing that we are at war, each of us has had at least two opportunities to re-enlist or get out. Everyone in the Army is here because we want to be here. There is no need to feel sorry for us, no need to worry for our safety, no need to anguish over the choices we have made to serve our country. America is the greatest country on earth made so by the strength and bravery of patriotic young men and women volunteering to serve, to fight and to die if needed, for your benefit.

I have been in the Army for 19 years, most of that time in the medical field. I’ve seen rough and ready troops move into harms way all over the world. I’ve been honored to care for wounded or injured soldiers from Somalia, Kuwait, the Mediterranean Sea, Kenya and Tanzania, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve had friends deployed all over the world. Not one time have I heard a friend or even a patient complain about their lot in life. Certainly, we complain about operation tempo, temporary duty assignments, multiple deployments, multiple family moves, and general instability, but that is the nature of the beast. That is the life we choose. Don’t worry about us, we are doing fine.

I would like to end this post with excerpts from my favorite soldier’s poem. I’ve posted a link to the full poem if you are interested. Go ahead and give it a read, but be warned it makes me cry every time I read it.

“Merry Christmas, My Friend” by LCpl James M Schmidt, USMC, 1986

T’was the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.
I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
and to see just who in this home did live. [snip]
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.
He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps."
With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep, [snip]
I didn't want to leave him so quiet in the night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
said "Carry on, Santa, it's Christmas Day, all secure."
One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.

You can find the entire poem at the following site.

You may reach me by email at

Jarold (Tom) Johnston Jr.
Student, Command and General Staff Collage
US Army Combined Arms Center
Fort Lee, Virginia

Sean Grimes

Hello. My name is Sean Grimes and I ran across this site looking for information on myself. I just thought it was a coincidence that Sean's B-Day was May 29th 1973. My B-Day is June 3rd 1973. We are the same age, Geminis and only 5 days apart. Keep doing what you are doing by keeping his name alive.

Take care.


Although I'm a civilian, Sean Grimes also saved my life. While stationed in San Antonio, TX, he diagnosed my (to that point) undetected FOUR heart defects! By the time I went thru Open Heart Surgery, the doctor said I was within 2 weeks of complete heart failure and Sean had saved my life - remarkably - w/o equipment or even a stethoscope.. he knew something was wrong.

God Bless & know that Sean was a hero to many - both civilan and military. Because of his good works and incredible knowledge - I live to see my Six children have children of their own! Jana


Cpt. Grimes was my PA for a long time in Korea (Camp Stanley). I remember his sense of humor and kindness. He was very easy to talk to and gave very good advice. One time in the field I woke him up for some allergy pills. I found the pills the other day when I was cleaning and cryed for a while. I was the armor in Korea, and I remember clearing him and taking his magazines. I knew he would do good over there (Iraq) and fix people, but I never expected to see this. I'm very sorry for the loss he was a great person.



My parents said that I should give it time because time tempers all things painful. Time hasn't been quite friendly to me these months. Before I found out, I thought about you every single day since our time in the rain. Now that I know, I still think about you every single day, and this much is for certain....I will think about you for the rest of my days, as long as there is a breath in me. What am I supposed to do now? You were my family, my compass, my future, my everything. You gave me reason, now nothing makes sense anymore.
This much is true, I will never love, nor will I feel as much pride in anyone as much as I feel them for you. Now and always.
For the book, the Bennet dance, the rain, the beer, the dreams, the tower, the tears, the laughs, the Monet, the beach,...I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

It ignites my very core to have had the chance to 'settle and close' things between us before you left this earth. Most people don't ever get that chance...and we did. Weren't we lucky?

Visit me again soon in my dreams and I promise, if you do, I will let you beat me at scrabble once again. Good night my hero.


I spoke with a prof who had taught Capt Grimes when he was at MSU. He had very, very favorably impressed this woman, and I feel strongly of the value of her opinion. Ms. Grimes, your brother has had a powerful affirmative impact upon the world. He has changed lives, for the better. That is a legacy one can be proud of. God Bless.


I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of this good man. Mary, my condolences to you and your family. I wish I knew what to say to make it easier, but I'm just a soldier that wants you to know that we're sorry for you, and proud of your brother. I never knew him. I wish I had.

Posse Incitatus


Mary Grimes

I am the sister of Captain Sean Grimes. I thank you for the nice write up of your memories of my brother. Please contact me as I would love to know which of my brothers RISK pals are producing this! Sean would get a huge kick out of it!

I would now like to address the comments made by Ken on March 18, 2005. I am going to go on the assumption that you do not know anyone who is actually serving in the Iraqi region or possibly in the service at all. Let me tell about some of the things my brother encountered while in Iraq. He had meetings with a local Sheik to discuss setting up local emergency medical clinics in their area. I have emails about his encounters with the locals and pictures of him surrounded by children. Yes my brother died in Iraq. He was there helping people. People he believed had the right to a better life. He was killed by people who don't believe that freedom is a right for every person. I am sorry that you do not share his belief.. that all people deserve to be free. In the future I would suggest you do not dishonor a persons memory when you do not know who may be reading your message.

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