For Many New Yorkers, This Hits Home. Hard.

Locked
Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

For Many New Yorkers, This Hits Home. Hard.

Post by Ralph » Thu Aug 04, 2005 5:07 am

New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
City cop killed in Iraq
These stories were reported by: MAKI BECKER, PETE DONOHUE, TAMER EL-GHOBASHY, ALISON GENDAR, MELISSA GRACE, JONATHAN LEMIRE, ADAM LISBERG, JOE MAHONEY, JOSE MARTINEZ and TONY SCLAFANI
They were written by: MAKI BECKER
Thursday, August 4th, 2005

He served his city and died protecting his country.

James McNaughton, a city cop and Army Reserves staff sergeant, was gunned down Tuesday near Baghdad - becoming the first of New York's Finest killed in the line of duty in Iraq.

"He believed in what he was doing," said his devastated father, William McNaughton, a recently retired NYPD cop. "I'm proud of what he's done.

"To me, he's a hero."

At dusk Tuesday, three uniformed officers pulled up in front of the Centereach, L.I., home where James McNaughton was raised. William McNaughton said he knew immediately that something terrible had happened to his 27-year-old son, a four-year NYPD veteran.

"You know right away," he said, tears welling in his eyes. "That's something I won't forget for the rest of my life."

James McNaughton, a staff sergeant with the U.S. Army Reserves' 306th Military Police Battalion, was felled by sniper fire while he was guarding prisoners from a tower at Camp Victory, a sprawling military base near Baghdad's airport.

Mayor Bloomberg, who called McNaughton's family to offer his condolences, broke the tragic news to the city that "we have lost one of our Finest in Iraq."

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly noted McNaughton's deep roots in the NYPD - his father retired from the force last month, and his stepmother and fiancée are on the force.

The young Queens man "embodied the motto of the NYPD: Fidelis Ad Mortem, faithful until death," Kelly said.

Yesterday, in Manhattan's Transit District 2 offices, where McNaughton had worked the midnight shift patrolling the subways, purple-and-black bunting was put up to signal the sad loss.

NYPD Chief of Queens Detectives Louis Croce, the former commanding officer of the Transit Bureau, remembered McNaughton as a "young lad" with a passion for serving the public.
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Post by Ralph » Thu Aug 04, 2005 5:09 am

New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
Just got engaged
to fellow officer

Thursday, August 4th, 2005

James McNaughton came back to New York one final time last month, a man with a mission.

He headed to a family friend's jewelry store to pick out a beautiful engagement ring for his sweetheart, Liliana Paredes, 24, a fellow cop.

Then the 27-year-old Army reservist, who had been in Iraq for the last seven months, popped the question.

"He just got engaged," his father, William McNaughton, recalled yesterday as news broke that the young cop had been killed in Iraq.

McNaughton and Paredes' love story began at the Police Academy in July 2001. As cadets, they were mobilized after 9/11 to help direct traffic and control crowds.

The couple moved in together about a year ago into a house in Middle Village, Queens, owned by a cop who works with Paredes at Manhattan's 9th Precinct.

Neighbor Yvette Carcana recalled how happy Paredes had seemed in the days before McNaughton came home in July for his 15-day leave.

"She couldn't wait," Carcana said. "She was so excited."

But yesterday, after learning her intended was gone, a devastated Paredes mourned, surrounded by cop friends.

"His fiancée is beyond words," William McNaughton said.

One woman who knows all too well Paredes' pain is Sharon Engeldrum, whose firefighter husband, Christian, was killed last year in Iraq.

"God give them peace in their heart," she said yesterday.

"It hurts every time I hear something like this," she said, as her newborn baby daughter, Kristian, named for her slain dad, cried in the background. "It just brings me back."

McNaughton was a member of the Army Reserve's 306th Military Police Battalion, based in Uniondale, L.I.

"A lot of them are EMS or they're cops," said Cathy Rosenberg, 30, whose husband is also an NYPD cop and a member of the 306th. "They're service-oriented people."

She was stunned to hear that one of their own had been killed. "I'm in shock," she said. "You think about all of them and you expect all of of them to come home."
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Post by Ralph » Sat Aug 06, 2005 4:53 am

New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
He was my life
By RICH SCHAPIRO
and ALISON GENDAR
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Friday, August 5th, 2005

Clutchingher slain fiancés dog tags, NYPD Officer Liliana Paredes sobbed yesterday as she described how she last heard from the man who was "my everything" - just hours before he was killed in Iraq.

It was 2:09 a.m. Tuesday when the instant message flashed across her computer screen.

The note was from James McNaughton, her 27-year-old future husband, a fellow cop who was serving in Iraq as an Army MP. He was getting ready to head out with a convoy to train Iraqi police near Baghdad.

"He wrote me, 'I'm leaving now. I'll write you when I get back. I love you,'" Paredes told the Daily News yesterday.

"He never wrote me back," she said, unable to stem her tears.

Just four hours after McNaughton sent his message, he was dead, becoming the first of New York's Finest to be killed in the line of duty in Iraq.

He had called or sent instant messages to his "princess" every day since he was dispatched by the Army to Iraq shortly after last Christmas.

"He made it his business to get in touch with me so I knew he was all right," said Paredes, 24. "He would always sugarcoat things for me. He didn't want me to worry about anything."

She sat staring at a wall inside a sunlit bedroom in the modest two-story white house she had shared with McNaughton in Middle Village, Queens.

Holding her knees to her chest, she steadied herself and said New York should know McNaughton was "a great, wonderful man."

"He always thought this is what he was born to do, to serve his country," she said. "To be in the military, that was his passion."

McNaughton's body will be flown home this weekend in a flag-draped coffin, but Paredes could not bear to think about funeral arrangements.

She sought comfort in the memories of the last time she was with her sweetheart when he had asked for her hand in marriage.

Still, Paredes couldn't help raging at the nameless, faceless sniper who broke her heart.

"What pleasure did he get from doing this? I want to know," she demanded.

Paredes and McNaughton met at the Police Academy. They were both part of the first class to graduate after the 9/11 attacks.

"When I was down, he'd tell me, 'You have to man up. You have to be strong,'" she said. "That's how I saw him. Indestructible. My protector. My everything."

Paredes, who works in Manhattan's 9th Precinct, last saw McNaughton when he came home for a 15-day leave in June. She had butterflies in her stomach, fearing Iraq had somehow changed him.

It had not.

"It was the most wonderful two weeks I've ever had," she remembered.

McNaughton, a Long Island native who was assigned to Manhattan's Transit District 2, bought an engagement ring at a family friend's jewelry store and proposed to her.

Then he whisked her off to a romantic trip to Jones Beach, and a lucky weekend in Atlantic City where he won $3,000.

He planned to use the money to start a life with her. They would be a true NYPD family: both were cops, like McNaughton's stepmom and his father, an Army veteran who had just retired from the force.

Their time was short. Paredes said they stayed up their last night together talking - anything to spend a few more waking minutes with the man she loved.

When morning came on June 25, she said, "Don't leave. I don't want you to leave now," she recalled.

"It's what I was born to do, Liliana. I'll be back. I'll be back in December," he told her.

McNaughton's close friend Dave Drago said the Army Reserves staff sergeant was looking forward to getting married.

"You know," said Drago, 26, shaking his head sadly, "this doesn't feel real even now. I keep think Jimmy's going to walk in and tell me what's going on over there."

As Paredes wept uncontrollably inside her home yesterday, a close friend of hers handed The News a note.

It read: "Behind every strong soldier is a strong woman. Liliana is that woman."
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests