Captain John Gaffaney

Gaffaney, of Sierra Mesa, Calif., retired from the Army as a major, but longed to return to duty in the Army National Guard. He was assigned to the 1908th Medical Detachment, a combat stress control unit based out of Topeka, Kan.

The unit arrived at Fort Hood Nov. 4, 2009, and deployed to Camp Liberty, Iraq, Dec. 7. The detachment’s psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers, mental health experts and occupational therapy specialists provided tailored combat stress control support and preventive services to deployed soldier.

After retiring from the Army, Gaffaney cared for society’s most vulnerable during two decades as a psychiatric nurse. He spent three years trying to return to active duty in this time of war. He is survived by a wife and son. Gaffaney was 56 at the time of his death.

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