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Blast kills Jersey Shore GI [Specialist Kareem R. Khan]
Arlington National Cemetery ^ | 8/10/2007 | SHRUTI L. MATHUR

Posted on 08/17/2007 12:08:16 PM PDT by Incorrigible

Blast kills Jersey Shore GI

Friday, August 10, 2007
By SHRUTI L. MATHUR

[Manahawkin, NJ] -- When it came to a post-high school career decision, there was nothing Kareem R. Khan wanted to do other than join the Army.

Spurred by the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Khan, a 2005 graduate of Southern Regional High School, wanted to show that not all Muslims were fanatics and that many, like him, were willing to lay their lives down for their country, America. He enlisted immediately after graduation and was sent to Iraq in July 2006.

So when his father, Feroze "Roy" Khan, saw three soldiers walking up to his door on Monday, he knew what it meant.

Specialist Kareem Khan, 20, was killed with four others earlier this week when a blast destroyed a house he and members of his division, the Stryker Brigade Combat Team, were clearing in Baqouba, Iraq.

An interpreter and 12 soldiers were also injured in the explosion, the Army said.

"It's something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy," Feroze Khan, 49, said Thursday night at his home in the Ocean Acres section of Manahawkin.

Khan's faith in Islam is important now to his father and stepmother, Nisha Khan, because they want to make sure people in America know that Muslims like Kareem were willing to fight for their country.

"His Muslim faith did not make him not want to go. It never stopped him," said Feroze Khan. "He looked at it that he's American and he has a job to do."

The last package Nisha Khan, 40, sent her stepson included a necklace that had Kareem's name in Arabic, next to the word "Bismillah," which means praise to Allah.

In the Islamic tradition, last rites must be within a few days of death. Khan's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia is scheduled Thursday. The family will perform traditional Islamic rites at home and have a full military burial.

"Hopefully Allah will understand," said Nisha Khan.

Though his father "spoiled him rotten," according to both his dad and stepmom, Kareem was always a polite teenager, who respected his elders.

"For a teenager, he was a very obedient child," said Nisha Khan.

Feroze Khan's favorite memory is when Kareem used to wake up at 5 a.m. on weekends to accompany his dad at work at a local marina.

"Not many kids would get up at 5 a.m.," he said.

Khan was a football fan, rooting with his father for the Dallas Cowboys when games were televised. He also used to challenge his little stepsister Aliya, 11, to video games.

"He's really funny," said Aliya. "We used to play video games and sometimes we would play with my birds."

Nisha Khan said the two would spend hours sprawled out on the living room floor and sometimes Kareem would try to show Aliya how to do certain moves, and ended up taking over the controller.

Aliya said she looked up to her stepbrother and she was "really happy," when he came with her to class at Southern Regional Intermediate School during his leave last September. Afterward he accompanied her to the school book fair.

"I was proud," she said.

Kareem was a "total goofball," said Feroze Khan. The family used to send two large bags of Starburst candies in his care packages, because Kareem would pick out all the orange ones and leave the rest for his Army buddies.

He was also a big fan of the Disney World theme parks, as was the entire family. They would take at least one trip a year to Orlando, Florida, and the living room and dining room of the family's split-level home is filled with souvenirs from those trips, like a wall hanging of Cinderella, figurines of Mickey Mouse and Disney-themed snow globes.

Kareem was so crazy about Disney World that when he had a two-day leave following his graduation from Fort Benning, Georgia, the family immediately drove to Florida.

As a freshman at Southern Regional High School, Kareem enrolled in the district's Air Force Junior ROTC program. During his one year in the program, he proved to be a solid student and citizen, said Col. Michael Mestemaker.

"He was a good kid. He did whatever we asked of him," he said.

Stafford Mayor Carl Block said his "heart goes out to the family. We have been very pro-veteran in the past, and we'll surely follow this up immediately" by planning an official memorial for Khan.

Representative Jim Saxton, R-New Jersey, received word of Khan's death through Army officials on Thursday. "I express my deepest regrets for the family of Specialist Khan. His service to the Army and the 2nd Infantry Division is truly honorable. It's a sad loss for us all," he said.

Khan went to Iraq after spending a year at Fort Lewis in Seattle. He came home for two weeks in September 2006 and was supposed to be home permanently last month, but his tour was extended through the end of September 2007.

He was considering re-enlisting or going to medical school. He worked with a medic unit when he first got to Iraq, Feroze Khan said, and liked what they did.

When he came home to visit, he was happy to stay at home, even asking his mother, who lives in Maryland, to come up to New Jersey to visit.

"He has so much promise, he could've done anything with himself," said Joe Hawk, 42, of Bayville, who Feroze Khan described as a very special friend of the family.

Hawk said he saw Kareem grow from a little 10-year-old boy into a man.

"When he joined, his dad was devastated," said Hawk, "but I told him you can't fault him for that. His father raised him to give, and he gave his life."

Nisha Khan said seeing the soldier come to tell of Kareem's death was like nothing she's ever experienced.

"You see it in the movies, but you wouldn't know the emptiness of seeing them in your driveway," she said. In her grief, she blindly hit out at those bringing the news, she said. "He promised me he'd come home," she said, as Aliya held her mother close to comfort her.

"His dad is devastated," said Hawk. "Kareem was his life. A father shouldn't bury his child."

The most important thing to know, Nisha Khan said, is that Kareem lived up to the meaning of his name.

"Most excellent," she said.

Not for commercial use.  For educational and discussion purposes only.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: baqouba; fallen; iraq; strykerbrigade
 

Though every soldier lost in battle is equally significant, I thought this young man's story was particularly poignant.

 

1 posted on 08/17/2007 12:08:18 PM PDT by Incorrigible
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To: Incorrigible

Sleep well, Kareem, with your brothers-in-arms.


2 posted on 08/17/2007 12:10:30 PM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: Incorrigible

Rest in peace.


3 posted on 08/17/2007 12:12:57 PM PDT by Zhang Fei
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To: Incorrigible
I have to admit making some pretty blanker statements about Islam and Moslems on this board and elsewhere. SPC Khan's sacrifice, if nothing else, has done more to demonstrate the possibility of loyal American Moslems than all the words and puffery of CAIR and its ilk since 9/11.

Rest in peace SPC Khan.

4 posted on 08/17/2007 12:16:05 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Incorrigible
Thanks for posting this. I am sure there are more Muslims serving with honor.

All we get are the stories about them feeling persecuted in this country.

All of the persecuted minorities during our past wars always had a division composed of same and served with honor.

Too bad there is not a Muslim division that I know of during this War!

5 posted on 08/17/2007 12:16:51 PM PDT by rocksblues (Just enforce the law!)
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To: Incorrigible

He wanted to give fellow Muslims/Iraqis a chance at freedom and a decent life. He gave his life for that dream, and God has him now. God bless him.


6 posted on 08/17/2007 12:20:49 PM PDT by hershey
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To: Incorrigible

Hosted by FreeImageHosting.net Free Image Hosting Service

Specialist Kareem R Khan

 

7 posted on 08/17/2007 12:23:22 PM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: Incorrigible

Prayers for Kareem and his family. God bless them. God bless America.


8 posted on 08/17/2007 12:27:07 PM PDT by ishabibble (ALL-AMERICAN INFIDEL)
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To: Incorrigible

This kid epitomized all that is good with our soldiers.


9 posted on 08/17/2007 12:28:21 PM PDT by stm
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To: Incorrigible
Godspeed,Specialist Khan.You’ll never be forgotten!
10 posted on 08/17/2007 12:32:24 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (If martyrdom is so cool,why does Osama Obama go to such great lengths to avoid it?)
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To: SandRat; StarCMC; freema

RIP brave young man


11 posted on 08/17/2007 12:37:36 PM PDT by RDTF (Republicans believe every day is July 4th, but Democrats believe every day is April 15th. - Reagan)
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To: Incorrigible

I must say incorrigible, this post gives me much hope with my fellow humans in this world. Thank you for sharing.

May GOD bless this family, and as a Christian, may GOD find a place in heaven for this loyal servant to his people. Christ died for all of us let us not forget.


12 posted on 08/17/2007 12:41:50 PM PDT by poobear (Pure democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what's for dinner. God save the Republic!)
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To: Incorrigible

“Mose Excellent” indeed! RIP Patriot and blessings on your parents & family.


13 posted on 08/17/2007 12:41:56 PM PDT by He'sComingBack!
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To: Incorrigible

Thank you for posting this.

Prayers for his family and may he rest in peace.


14 posted on 08/17/2007 12:56:47 PM PDT by TrishaSC
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To: Incorrigible; LibreOuMort
Though every soldier lost in battle is equally significant, I thought this young man's story was particularly poignant.

Thank you for posting this!

15 posted on 08/17/2007 12:58:44 PM PDT by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: Incorrigible

God bless him. Our nation is eternally grateful to him and his fellow heroes who have given their lives for our freedom and security.


16 posted on 08/17/2007 1:01:47 PM PDT by AuH2ORepublican (http://auh2orepublican.blogspot.com/)
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To: Incorrigible

Hand salute!


17 posted on 08/17/2007 1:01:57 PM PDT by Beckwith (dhimmicrats and the liberal media have .chosen sides -- Islamofascism)
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To: Incorrigible; RDTF; StarCMC; Bethbg79; EsmeraldaA; MoJo2001; Kathy in Alaska; Brad's Gramma; ...

18 posted on 08/17/2007 4:01:57 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: Incorrigible

He died walking the walk.
You can’t do better than that.


19 posted on 08/17/2007 4:09:56 PM PDT by TalBlack
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To: Incorrigible

Just want to bump up this article from a while back in light of recent events.


20 posted on 11/06/2009 9:16:42 AM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: Incorrigible

I’ll say a prayer for him and everyone lost. TD - Bagram Afghanistan


21 posted on 09/16/2010 7:53:23 PM PDT by Terrence DoGood
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