default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Charities launched in soldier's memory

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, June 24, 2004 10:00 pm

Patrick McCaffrey's loved ones want to make sure his family and his fellow National Guardsmen are taken care of.

The 34-year-old Tracy resident, an Army National Guard specialist, was killed in an ambush north of Baghdad on Tuesday. A day after his family received the news, his mother put out a call for donations to bring laptops to her late son's battalion, and colleagues in Palo Alto worked to establish an education fund for his two young children.

"I'm going to keep up with the unit," said his mother, Nadia.

She said her only son reported two-hour long waits from the battlefield for computers to send e-mail and video-conference calls home over the Internet.

Earlier this year, Nadia McCaffrey started up a drive to buy a satellite phone for her son's Petaluma-based Alpha Company, a unit of the National Guard 579th Engineering Battalion in Santa Rosa.

She said she shifted her attention to getting the guardsmen laptops after the military nixed her satellite phone idea because of security concerns.

Nadia can be reached through Angel Staff, the Tracy nonprofit she runs to bring comfort to dying people.

"We think it is so important, her passion for helping," said Réne Gilmore, a Livermore resident whose husband, Michael Gilmore, is also a member of the Alpha Company. Gilmore said the unit had 103 guardsmen deployed for the mission.

A day after learning about his death, friends and family said Patrick was well-known for his dedication to keeping in touch with loved ones and his devotion to his children.

In Silicon Valley, colleagues at the repair shop where worked began putting together an education fund for the guardsman's children, 9-year-old Patrick Jr. and 2-year-old Janessa, almost as soon as they heard he had been killed.

Staff at Akins Collision Repair in Palo Alto established the Patrick McCaffrey Memorial Fund at a Palo Alto Citibank branch. Patrick was a manager and longtime employee of the shop.

"I don't know anyone who loved their kids and their life more," said Sharon Rupp, owner of the shop where Patrick had worked 13 years. "He was very driven just to provide the best for his family."

Marlene Cather, financial manager at Akins, said another reason Patrick enlisted in the National Guard on Sept. 12, 2001, was to earn education benefits to ensure his children would be able to go to college. He had been in and out of the country on guard missions for most of Janessa's life.

"That's kind of the worst part of the tragedy. He had so little time with his daughter," Cather said.

To contribute to Laptops for Iraq, contact Nadia McCaffrey at Nadiaiands@aol.com; or 839-9955.

Nadia McCaffrey also works with a nonprofit group called Angel Staff that helps people with terminal conditions. The organization is on the Web at http://www.angelstaff.org.">www.angelstaff.org">http://www.angelstaff.org.

To contribute to the memorial fund set up for Patrick's children: Patrick McCaffrey Memorial Fund, Citibank West, 2401 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306; or c/o Akins Collision Repair, 2901 Park Blvd.; Palo Alto, CA 94306.

Contact Karen Coleman at kcoleman@tracypress.com.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 64


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists