Major James Michael Ahearn

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Major Ahearn was a Muslim convert who married an Iraqi woman who he brought to the US, married. The couple had a baby girl together.
He learned to speak Arabic and had a profound respect and understanding of Iraqi culture and customs.
Major Ahearn died on July 5 2007 from injuries caused by an explosive device while on patrol in Baghdad in Iraq.
The 43-year-old was a civil affairs officer assigned to 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Originally from Concord, California, he served 18 years in the military including tours during the Gulf War in which he was assigned to a tank crew.
He died nearing the end of his third tour of duty in the Iraq War.
He met his wife, Lena, in 2003 where she was working as a military translator. She described it as 'love at first sight'.
She told the Los Angeles Times: 'Jimmy was the greatest gift I ever had'.
Major Ahearn converted to Islam so he could marry Lena and enlisted the help of Senator John McCain to cut through the red tape to get her to America.
The couple named their daughter 'Khadija', after the wife of the Prophet Muhammad.
Among the medals he won during his career were a Bronze Star for valor, a Purple Heart and five Army Commendation medals.
He was given an Islamic burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

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