Sgt. Major Jeffery McLochlin
Memorial website in the memory of your loved one

SGT. Major Jeffery A. McLochlin
Born on February 13,1961 ~ Deployed to Heaven July 05,2006

This life time Memorial website was created in the memory of Sgt. Major Jeffrey McLochlin, for our children and future grandchildren. So that they might know and never forget the impact this selfless hero had on others. So please, if you are a grateful American or you were blessed enough to know this incredible man leave a memory, or write a tribute. Thank you, Nicholle McLochlin



I'll Be There with You

No matter where you go
or what you do,
Always remember
I'm right there with you.

I'll be there in the morning
whenever you rise,
and there in the evening 
as the moon fills the skies.

I'll be there in your thoughts
and in your dreams.
Keep that in mind
no matter how bad it seems.

And if you should need me 
I'll be easy to find,
Just search all the memories 
you have in your mind.

I'll be with you always
as I was from the start,
I'll be there in the love
we've shared in your heart!

April 2005



   First Annual Jeff McLochlin Memorial 5k Run/Walk






-The Ranger Creed -

Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of my Ranger Regiment.

Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move farther, faster and fight harder than any other soldier.

Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be. One-hundred-percent and then some.

Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.

Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.

Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.



Welcome Home Dad!

This picture was taken of Jeff and Connor on November 15,2004 by an Indianapolis Star photographer. This was there first embrace after nearly a year long deployment.


SGM McLochlin, a city police officer serving in the Indiana National Guard, was killed during an ambush while patrolling near the Pakistan border July 5,2006 in Afghanistan. He was a police officer in Rochester and later in Plymouth, Ind. McLochlin, leaves behind a wife, Nicholle, and three children, Darby 16, Connor 8 and Kennedy 5. 

Daddy's Little Princess on her first day of preschool August 2005.


There is an appointed time for everything and
  a time for every affair under the heavens.
  A time to be born, and a time to die;...
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;...
A time to embrace, and a time to be far from   
   A time to love, and a time to hate;
  A time of war, and a time of peace.
             Ecclesiastes verses 1 through 8                           

Sergeant Major Jeffrey A. McLochlin - Age: 45
Hometown: Rochester, Indiana
ARNG Unit: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 152nd Infantry, Marion, Indiana
Killed: Mosul, Orgun-E. Afghanistan - July 5, 2006
Cause:  Ambushed from three directions by small arms fire while on combat patrol
along Pakistan border.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels,  Adjutant General Martin Umbarger, fellow soldiers, cops and childhood buddies eulogized McLochlin, 45, as a true American hero.
"If ever Indiana gave birth to an eagle, it was certainly SGM Jeff McLochlin," Daniels said. "It was clear he has given his entire life to service -- protection of all others."

Dan Butt is a Deputy of Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, and he worked with McLochlin at the Rochester Police Department. He remembered his friend as a good father, a true friend, and a serious soldier and policeman. 

“Mac never let me down,” he said, adding McLochlin was “truly bigger than life,” and certainly met the definition of a warrior.







(WSBT) Two Michiana communities are mourning the loss of a local soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Family members say 45-year-old Master Sergeant Jeff McLochlin of Rochester was killed during small arms fire this week near the Pakistani border. They got the horrible news Wednesday night.

McLochlin was a Plymouth police officer for the last seven years, and his boss says his fellow officers are stunned. Flags throughout both Fulton and Marshall Counties were lowered to half staff Thursday as neighbors heard what happened.

“We listen to it every day on the news,” said Chief Jim Cox of the Plymouth Police Department. “We hear about other families losing their loved ones and it don't hit you until it's your hometown.”

McLochlins was serving his second tour of duty overseas in the last two years. He'd been in Afghanistan since last fall, and was supposed to come home -- back to his family and back to his job -- in September.

“He was my life,” Nicholle McLochlin said of her husband Thursday. “But I'm proud of him and I know he died doing what he believed in.”

Nicholle says her husband believed in serving and protecting others. As a military man, most recently that meant training the Afghan national army -- until this week.

Less than 24 hours after getting the news, Nicholle, 8-year-old Connor, 5-year-old Kennedy and 16-year-old Darby are mourning the loss of their husband and dad, but getting through it with the love he had for them.

“I think you can see the love on his face for his kids and he was just an amazing man,” Nicholle said.

McLochlin had less than a year left before he would retire with 20 years service to the army.

Story Created: Jul 5, 2006 at 10:49 PM EDT

Story Updated: Jul 7, 2006 at 10:48 AM EDT 



This is a blog that was written on Thursday July 06,2006 by Major Arnold Strong, who is currently serving in Kabul, Afghanistan.

On the Fourth of July, we assumed the mission of CJTF Phoenix. It was a beautiful day preceded by the rarest of Afghan events a double rainbow foreshadowing the polychromatic light of the upcoming leadership of Task Force Phoenix. It was a great day for all of us. On July fifth, almost exactly 24 hours into the mission, we had our first casualty It made for a serious and unpleasant welcome to the reality of the environment we have now entered. Sgt. Major Jeffery McLochlin had served with Phoenix for ten months as an embedded trainer. He was what we call a "4.25 guy" meaning that he served with Phoenix IV from about a fourth of the way through the mission and was going to remain with us for about two more months. Like the motto of the 75th Ranger Regiment he once served within, he was leading the way until the end. He was killed by enemy small arms fire. His legacy was that of a beloved leader of soldiers both U.S. and Afghan, a loving father and husband, and professional police officer. He was 45 years old. That evening, several of us joined Lt. Col. Gregory Moore, my predecessor, in his last mission. We drove up to the top of Mausoleum Hill to distribute kites to Afghan children. They were very nice kites, professional quality nylon with a variety of shapes and sizes. The kids loved them and were so happy to fly them in the blistering wind. It was almost too extreme to get them into the air. I thought of Sgt. Major Jeffery McLochlin's spirit flying high over the Afghan countryside where his spirit left this world, and the children he left behind. Fly on, Sgt. Major. Fly on.  

Kennedy age 5 after grave side services.

Love, Kennedy


"Freedom Is Not Free"

"We are born for a higher destiny than that of earth; there is a realm where the rainbow never fades,where the stars will be spread before us like islands that slumber on the ocean, and where the beings that pass before us like shadows will stay in our presence forever."

by Edward Bulwer-Lytton


    This Ranger flag was given to me by: Dave Lawson, Dan Butt, Larry Jolley, Dan Pryor, and Kerry Brouyette. Thanks guys!


Little we knew that morning, that God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly,
In death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you,
you did not go alone;
for part of us went with you,
the day God called you home.
You left us peaceful memories,
your love is still our guide;
and though we cannot see you,
you are always at our side.
Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same;
but as God calls us one by one,
the chain will link again. 

   'The Last Valentine'
      " long as love is alive, the dead never die. It's not in the end alone that we love, but along the way. A love that endures the thorns of life calls out to us. When we listen, it lights the ground on which we walk and we know that we're not alone. And when the flame of life flickers out and is no more, the love you showed to others will light the ground for them to walk upon."

                by James Michael Pratt


Mourn for me not

Mourn for me not,
For I was but a gift,
Whose time has come and gone.
A gift of joy, however short lived.

Mourn for me not,
For I walk with god
And I suffer no more.
My pain has forever ended.

As I rejoice in Heaven,
Mourn for me not,
But remember me
With love and laughter.

Remember my smile, my song, my spirit.
For in your remembrance,
I shall be forever in your reach.
For I am always within your heart.



Rochester Sentinel 8/25/05
   {Ten day's after receiving his orders  
   for  deployment to Afghanistan.}


Wednesday, May 30, 2007
A family's sacrifice

This Memorial Day, the "News to Me" team wanted to do our part to honor the sacrifice of all the men and women who’ve given their lives in defense of this country. We looked through the many touching and heartfelt I-Reports sent in to There were so many stories. The feeling you got looking at these photos and reading the descriptions, made you wish you could feature all of them. One in particular left us truly touched.

Nicholle McLochlin sent in a photo of her with her three children, Connor, Kennedy, and Darby. The photo description simply read, "three days after my husband’s death." Nicholle went on to tell us that her husband, SGT. Major Jeffery A. McLochlin, a prior Army Ranger serving in the Indiana National Guard, had been killed in an ambush July 5th, 2006 in Afghanistan. In his civilian life, Jeffery was a police officer, but as Nicholle put it, "his true love was being a father of three."

This one submission summed up everything Memorial Day stood for, honor, family, sacrifice, and hope. The story of SGT. Major Jeffery McLochlin was the story for every man and woman who had given their life in all the years and in all the wars.

We asked Nicholle to share her story on tape. We never knew what we were going to get would be so powerful. Watch Nicholle’s video diary. For more information about Jeffery McLochlin, go here.

Every now and then you get to tell a story that reminds you of why you work in the news business. The funny thing is we didn’t tell this story as much as let the story speak for itself. Our mission and goal at "News to Me" is to let the citizens of this country report and speak freely, much like the mission of one SGT. Major Jeffery McLochlin.
Labels: News To Me


July 07. 2006 6:59AM

Soldier recalled as 'silent leader'
Family, friends mourn Plymouth policeman killed serving overseas.

Tribune Staff Writer

ROCHESTER -- Jeffery McLochlin was a soldier, a police officer, an All-American, a brother, a husband and, most importantly, a father.

Those who knew him in all his roles gathered at his country home in Rochester Thursday to celebrate his life and to console each other.

McLochlin, 45, was killed Thursday morning in Afghanistan by small arms fire.

His patrol was engaged by an anti-government element of unknown size, according to a military report the family was given.

Nicholle McLochlin said her husband was going to retire soon from the Indiana National Guard and would have been eligible to do so in December of 07'.

"Leaving his kids was just getting too hard," she said.

Nicholle McLochlin recalled her 230-pound, 6 foot 2 inch husband sitting down for tea party's with his 5-year-old daughter, Kennedy.

McLochlin was in the midst of his second tour of duty overseas since joining the Plymouth Police Department in 1999.

Plymouth Police Chief Jim Cox described McLochlin as "a silent leader" on the force.

At a news conference Thursday, Cox said his officers admired McLochlin because of his military experience.

"He didn't have to say anything, the officers just looked up to him," Cox said.

Due to his military background, he said, everyone respected him on the range and was impressed by his defensive tactics training.

"Nobody wanted to be his partner," Cox said, because of his skills and his abilities. "He just knew so much more than everybody else."

In March 2005, McLochlin was honored for his service by Plymouth Mayor Gary Cook at a Common Council meeting.

McLochlin spent much of 2004 in Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of a NATO peacekeeping mission.

At that meeting, Cook called McLochlin a "shining example of a true American."

On his most recent tour in Afghanistan, McLochlin left with Company B 2nd Battalion 152nd Mechanized Infantry with the Indiana National Guard.

McLochlins sister, Andrea Marrs of Culver, said McLochlin would call his wife most days every morning and night from Afghanistan, but in June he volunteered to go to a more dangerous base near the Pakistan border and could call only once a week or so, due to phone lines being down constantly.

Marrs said he was part of a forward operating base and took part in Operation Mountain Thrust.

Marrs said her brother had declined a promotion from first sergeant to sergeant major in the past because it would have meant he couldn't serve with his men in the field anymore.

On Thursday afternoon, Nicholle McLochlin received word that her husband was posthumously promoted to sergeant major.

"If it weren't for men like him, we wouldn't have our freedom ," Nicholle McLochlin said. "He was the heart and soul of my future."

McLochlin graduated from Rochester High School in 1979 and was an All-American middle linebacker at Wabash College in the early 1980s.

After college, he served as a U.S. Army Ranger for four years before joining the National Guard.

He then worked for the Rochester Police Department before moving to the Plymouth force.

Cox said McLochlin was a private man and kept to himself for the most part while he was on the job.

Nicholle McLochlin said that wasn't the case when he was at home.

"He was the life of the party," she said. "If he was here, we were having fun."

Jeff and Nicholle McLochlin were married for nearly ten years and have three children, Darby, 16; Connor, 8; and Kennedy, 5.

Marrs said her brother truly believed in his mission, loved being a soldier and loved being with his men.

"He would have written that ending for himself," she said. "We just wish it wouldn't have been when he was 45."

Staff writer Chris Gautz: 


Memorial Plaque
    Pictures By Ken Steen 

This slate Plaque was hung at a U.S. Military base in Afghanistan in honor of Jeff.


Daniel Butt speaks about fellow police officer and close friend, Army Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey McLochlin during
 McLochlin's funeral service Sunday July 16, 2006, 
in Rochester, Ind. 


Dave Granger's Tattoo
"Little Mac"
July 2006

3/16/2007 Rochester Sentinel
Mclochlin chosen for zebra hall of fame

Jeff McLochlin, class of 1979, was an outstanding three-sport athlete to contribute to Zebra athletics. Jeff's favorite sport was football and he is considered by many to be the best linebacker to ever play the game for RHS. He went on to Wabash College and earned All-American honors as a Little Giant linebacker. 

         Mrs. McLochlin 
         Invited  to speech
           BY Christina M. Seiler
           Rochester Sentinel 01/24/07

        Nicholle McLochlin attended President George Bush's State of the Union speech Tuesday as the guest of U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd Dist.
She is the widow of Sgt. Major Jeffery McLochlin, a decorated Army veteran who died in combat in Afghanistan on July 5.
         McLochlin, of Rochester, 
is expected to arrive home late today from her trip to the nation's capital.
Jeff McLochlin was a member of the Indiana National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment. He was an Army Ranger, a football standout at both Rochester High School and Wabash College, a Plymouth Policeman and the father of Darby, Connor and Kennedy McLochlin. His parents are Rich and Cindy McLochlin.
         "I am honored to have Nicholle as my guest," Donnelly said. "Jeff is a hero to all of us. The sacrifices made by our many servicemen and women and their families remind all of us that freedom comes at a high cost. We owe all of them a debt of gratitude."        

To whomever left this letter at Jeff's gravesite, Thank you.

Sgt. Maj. Jeffery A. Mclochlin,                                    

Sgt. Maj., thank God for the chance to have known   you. I have met only a few people in my life that have set an example to live by and you stand out as one that anyone who followed you can be proud to say "Sgt. Maj. taught me that." I can say you taught me not to let the politics of life beat you, never waiver from your beliefs, becareful what you follow and don't worry what people say about you just live your life in a manner that anyone whom is watching will know that the things people say about you are not true when time after time you have tried to help those you can, they are lessons I forever will remember. I know for a fact that you showed us all how to live by example. I could start today and live to be 100 years old and not accomplish what the Sgt. Maj. did. It is amazing that you taught with just your presence and few words, situation after situation and anyone whom has been around you would know what that means. The words honor, integrity and service are used by people, but you lived those words and stood solid as a rock. Anyone who was blessed enough to have known you can read the Ranger Creed and see you in every line that was written and you did live by the Creed Sgt. Maj., you lived as an example of how to be a husband, a father, a brother, son, friend and a dedicated soldier on the battle field and streets of your community. You served your community abroad and at home in ways that few can say they have. I never saw or heard you ask for anything in return for your service and for what it is worth you gained my respect and admiration. May God and you watch over Nicholle, Kennedy, Connor and Darby.                                                                 

We have lost a leader amongst us that no one I see around me can replace. I'll keep looking for that leader somewhere I hope to find another, but I fear it will not be in my life time. We all will need the courage and strength you possessed to drive onto our own objectives. God bless you Sgt. Maj.. I'm sorry for all the pretty words I will stand the wire and take the Sgt. Maj. corrective measure if I make the grade and we meet again.                     
Wishing I could have been there for you Sgt. Maj.

This Decal was designed by K-9 Officer John Weir
at the Plymouth Police Dept. 




The Soldier stood and faced God
Which must always come to pass
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as bright as his brass.

Step forward you Soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The Solider 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 on Sundays
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep.
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just to steep,

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 here.
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 silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgement of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,
You've borne your burden well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell." 







     "Remember Me"

To the living, I am gone. To the sorrowful,
I will never return.
To the Angry, I was Cheated. But to the happy,
I'am at peace,
and to the faithful, I have never left.
I cannot speak, but I can listen.
I cannot be seen but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon the shore,
Gazing at the beautiful sea remember me
As you look in awe at the mighty forest and
it's grand majesty,
remember me

Remember me in your hearts, in your thoughts,
the memories of the times we loved, the times we cried,
times we laughed and the life I lived....
For if you always think of Me,
I will never be gone......


Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to view slide show.



Tributes and Condolences
my idol   / M. H. (Served)
Jeff was an ETT and gunner from Gardez. I left for Afghanistan when I was 19, turned 20, and 21 on deployment. Needless to say I was impressionable. I was a 4.0er, he was a 4.5er, and a stud. Sturdy, confident, Ranger. The night before I gunned a c...  Continue >>
10-7  / M. H. (Soldier)
coming up on 10 years since I I left for Afghanistan, at 19. I turned 20, and 21 while there... Met Jeff in Gardez. We took rockets in Gardez his last night there. Mounted up and moved out to Orgun and Lawara. When we got there, there was an explos...  Continue >>
My Friend   / Jerry Hartley (FRIEND)
Ah, but I have failed you my friend.  You led me through trouble and fear and I found refuge.  You gave your life and I came home to endulge.  I have failed you.  You and your family are heros... I have seen them in action since...  Continue >>
Tremendous Loss   / SFC Mike Menapace Sr. (Went to Basic Training together )
  To the entire McLochlin First let me say how deeply saddened I was when I saw that Jeff had been killed. My name is Mike Menapace Jeff and I were in the very same Platoon very same Bay (sleeping area) during our basic training and Infan...  Continue >>
Belated Honor   / Denise Young (None but a military mom )
To the Family of Sgt Major Jeffery A. McLochlin, Please accept these belated condolences at the loss of your beloved Jeffery.  I know words cannot ease the pain but I hope you know you are not alone in your feelings.  Many hearts ache...  Continue >>
Still miss you.  / Madeline Johns (friend)    Read >>
Loving Deeply  / Nicholle McLochlin (Wife)    Read >>
RIP Ranger  / Brian Churchill (Fellow Ranger - Police Officer )    Read >>
What an Honor . . .  / Jane Cruzan     Read >>
Condolences & Gratitude  / Military Mother/Wife (none)    Read >>
Outstanding NCO  / Al Bump (1SG)    Read >>
HAPPY BIRTHDAY  / Nicholle McLochlin (Wife)    Read >>
The Cost of Freedom  / Conni Ratcliff (None)    Read >>
Camp Atterbury  / SSG Daryl Bollhoefer (Fellow Soldier, Friend )    Read >>
Just thinking  / Brian (Buddy)    Read >>
More tributes and condolences...
Click here to pay tribute or offer your condolences
His legacy
Jeff McLochlin First Annual Memorial 5k Run/Walk  

Jeff McLochlin First
Annual Memorial 5k Run/Walk

Jeff McLochlin joined the United States Army in August 1986. He served on active duty with the Army’s elite 75th Ranger Battalion until May 1990. Jeff served in Operation Just Cause, December 1989, where he parachuted into Panama to conduct combat operations. After his active duty career Jeff joined the Indiana Army National Guard in January 1991. Shortly thereafter Jeff was deployed to Desert Shield/Storm. In January 2004 Jeff deployed to Bosnia Herzegovina where he was the First Sergeant of C Co 2/152 INF(M). Jeff made his final deployment to Afghanistan in October2005. SGM Jeff McLochlin died July 5, 2006 while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan. His many awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, 5 Army Commendation Medals, 3 Army Achievement Medals, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantry Badge with Star, Expert Infantry Badge, and Parachute Badge with Bronze Star.

Jeff McLochlin was a man who dedicated his life to serving others. Jeff was also a Police Officer with the Plymouth Police Department in Plymouth, Indiana. He served his country and community with unwavering dedication. The family and friends of this great American hero want to remember Jeff the way he would want, by running.

5K Run/Walk
On July 28, 2007 at 8:00am the first annual Jeff McLochlin Memorial Run/Walk will be held to help celebrate the life and accomplishments of Jeff McLochlin. The family of this great American hero cordially invites everyone to join them at Centennial Park in Plymouth, Indiana for a 5K RUN/WALK. Entry for this event would be a $15.00 donation to the Jeff McLochlin Memorial Fund. All donations are accepted and are committed to the fund through First Federal Savings Banks in Plymouth and Rochester Indiana. Participation is not required for donations. Come join us to enjoy one of Jeff’s passions. Registration will begin at 7:15am. You must check in before starting your selected event.


Indianapolis- Governor Mitch Daniels and the Adjutant General of Indiana, Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, have recieved notification that a soldier from the Indiana National Guard was killed while on deployment in Afghanistan.

Sg.t Maj. Jeffrey A. McLochlin, 45, from Headquarters Company. 2nd Battalion, 152nd infantry, Marion, IND., was killed Wednesday, July 5th, as a result of small arms fire while conducting combat patrols in Orgun E, Afghanistan. Sgt. Maj. McLochlin was a resident of Rochester.Ind.

Gov. Mitch Daniels was informed of the death and expressed his gratitude and appreciation to Sgt. Maj. McLochlin's family for the Guardsman's service and sacrifice. "I am very saddened to here the news of Sgt. Maj. McLochlin's death." Daniels said. "However, I can also say that I am proud of soldiers like him that give the ultimate sacrifice for our safety and defense. Sgt. Maj. McLochlin exemplifies our state's patriotism and the willingness of every soldier to put thier lives on the lines in the name of freedom."

" I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Sgt. Maj. McLochlin," said Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, the adjutant genral. "A veteran of Operation Just Cause, Sgt. Maj. McLochlin continued to demonstrate his patriotism and dedication to our nation's defense through his service into the National Guard. During his final deployment, Sgt. Maj. McLochlin was instrumental in the protection and growth of teh Afghanistan people and its security forces. His dedication to the defense of this nation and to the nation of Afghanistan will be honored by all who mourn the loss of such a great soldier.
gardez memorial  
Farewell to a fallen friend
Wisconsin troops honor soldier with memorial in Afghanistan
Posted: July 7, 2006
Gardez, Afghanistan - They were not 1st Sgt. Jeffery McLochlin's boots.

Troops in Afghanistan

Photo/Meg Jones

Wisconsin National Guard Sgt. Maj. Jeff Janke, a Clintonville native, polishes an M-4 rifle Friday in Gardez, Afghanistan, for a memorial to 1st Sgt. Jeffery A. McLochlin of Indiana, who was killed two days earlier.

Photo/Meg Jones

A soldier pays his respects Friday after a memorial service in Gardez, Afghanistan, for a slain Indiana soldier. 1st Sgt. Jeffery McLochlin was part of an embedded training team that includes Wisconsin National Guard troops.  The second picture is the "in memory" stickers that were derived from the original picture. Thje stickers were created by Officer John Weir.

Photo/Meg Jones

A soldier takes a photo of the fallen-comrade memorial dedicated to McLochlin. A memorial service included a final roll call and playing of taps.

Meg Jones
Journal Sentinel reporter Meg Jones is reporting on Wisconsin National Guard troops in Afghanistan, where she is with U.S. military units. She has previously traveled three times to Iraq as an embedded reporter to cover Wisconsin troops stationed there.
Video: Meg Jones' dispatches from Afghanistan

It was not his rifle.

Nor was it his helmet or dog tags.

But they were treated tenderly Friday morning by the men who knew and worked alongside McLochlin, as though the items belonged to their buddy - an Indiana National Guardsman - who was shot to death two days earlier in eastern Afghanistan.

Before a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Lightning, a soldier from McLochlin's unit walked up to the "fallen comrade memorial" set up in front of the flag poles where the American flag hung at half-staff. An M-4 rifle with a bayonet was stuck in a sandbag. In front of the rifle were the boots. A helmet was placed on top of the rifle.

"Is this his gear?" he asked.

No, it wasn't.

"All right then. Let's clean this (expletive) up and make it look nice."

The memorial was disassembled. A soldier used a small brush to whisk away the sand embedded in the helmet's cloth liner. Another bent over and brushed the boots, the dust quickly disappearing in the light breeze on this hot, cloudless day.

The soldier fiddled with the gun strap to make it hang just so. Then he carefully hung a set of dog tags from the trigger guard, the metal discs clinking together softly.

He stood back. "Yeah. That'll do."

It was the third memorial ceremony here at Forward Operating Base Lightning since Wisconsin National Guard troops arrived in early March. Wisconsin Lt. Col. John Loomer knew McLochlin, who, like Loomer, was a mentor to the Afghan National Army.

Loomer, who lives in Delavan, heard about McLochlin's death on Wednesday, a few hours after McLochlin was killed. Later that day, Loomer was sorting mail and noticed care packages addressed to McLochlin, who lived in the northern Indiana town of Rochester and had been a police officer in nearby Plymouth.

Before the ceremony began, Loomer walked up to the memorial and silently saluted.

"I said goodbye to him. I said my prayers when I first found out about it and asked the angels to take care of his family," said Loomer, who has three children, just as McLochlin did.

Loomer said he tries not to think about death even at times like this, when he's paying respects to someone he knew and who lost his life doing the same job in the same war zone.

"You're only immortal for a limited amount of time," Loomer said. "You don't think of this as my day to die because when you do think of it, your habits change."

Letters for families
Wisconsin Army National Guard Col. Dominic Cariello, who attended 16 memorial ceremonies while stationed at the air base in Kandahar, also was at Friday's observance at Forward Operating Base Lightning. He has written letters to the families of soldiers killed in action.

"It's heart-wrenching when you lose anybody. You ask the question, 'Why?' " said Cariello, who lives in Racine.

After a chaplain led the troops, including members of the Afghan National Army, in prayer and officers talked about McLochlin's bravery and sacrifice, it was time for the final roll call.

An officer called the names of McLochlin's fellow soldiers and they shouted, "Here, sir."

The officer then called out "1st Sgt. McLochlin."


"1st Sgt. Jeffery McLochlin."


"1st Sgt. Jeffery Allen McLochlin."


Then a bugler played taps.
Dudevoir '06 Salutes Fallen Brothers  
Howard W. Hewitt - Matt Dudevoir ’06 poked a little fun at himself in Thursday’s Chapel Talk. He admitted following the President and Dean was a daunting assignment.
“I’ve never heard of me either,” he opened. “Who better to follow such accomplished and intimidating men, than some guy who took six years to graduate from Wabash and still hasn’t moved out of Crawfordsville? Nice going, Sphinx Club.”
But the reason it took Dudevoir six years to graduate was because of his commitment to the National Guard. Duedvoir is on active duty as a Second Lieutenant in the 151st Long Range Surveillance branch. He is also working in a Guard development program trying to recruit new officers. He has served a tour of duty in Afghanistan
But after a few jabs at President Pat White regarding the works of Herman Melville, Dudevoir got to the gist of his comments on Sgt. Jeremy Wright ’96, and Sergeant Major Jeffrey McLochlin '81 Both were killed in Afghanistan.
“Wright and McLochlin were extraordinary men, for even in such elite company as the Green Berets or the Army Rangers, they were held in awe by their peers,” Dudevoir said. “They were giants among giants, but before any of this they were Little Giants. It is telling, I think, that at the Wabash College alumni run this fall, Jeremy Wright’s family returned to Wabash to see his friends run together. Likewise, when I met the McLochlin family and told them that I was a Wabash man, his sister’s eyes welled up with tears. ‘The happiest days of my life,’ she told me, ‘Were when I would watch Jeff play football at Wabash. Do they still say ‘DePauw to Hell, we’ve got the Bell?’ ”
He held up the two fallen soldiers as examples of Wabash Always Fights and challenged the students to be like their Wabash brothers.
“A soldier does not subject his body to the abuses of Ranger School in order to wear a little strip of cloth, anymore than an athlete pushes his body to its limits day after day just to earn a varsity letter or a championship ring, nor anymore than a Wabash student pledges the Sphinx Club and endures a semester of hazing just to wear a little white hat, or how a young man volunteers to attend an all-male institution and work like a dog for four years just to earn a diploma. We might think we challenge ourselves in order to earn these trifling emblems of accomplishment, but I am certain that it is something far greater and more insatiable that drives us to push ourselves time after time.”
Dudevoir challenged the young men to do great things because they know that they can and because they’d let themselves down if they did not. “You will pursue this quest tirelessly to the end of your days, for your work is never done, but its pursuit will be its own reward. Wabash Always Fights, and so shall each of you Little Giants. Those who choose this sort of life are truly Giants, even among their own kind, for their accomplishments carry the rest of us along with them to newer and greater places. This is the legacy of Sgt Wright and SGM McLochlin, but theirs is not a legacy for soldiers alone, nor is the military the sole arena whereby Wabash men may achieve greatness.”
More of his legacy...
Sgt. Major Jeffery's Photo Album
Jeff & Connor's first embrace after year long deployment to Bosnia. 11/15/04
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