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Thomas Russell HARRIGAN

1983 - 2019
Thomas Russell HARRIGAN Obituary
How could this be? Our youngest son, Thomas Harrigan, 36, was shot dead in his own living room by a person who had no right to be there. Tom did much good in his short time here. He saved lives as a paramedic with the St. Paul Fire Department. On medical calls, he treated people with compassion, according to the praise of the St. Paul Fire Chief, and also worked hard on fire calls. In one instance, he saved a woman from death by performing an emergency tracheotomy. In Iraq, he earned the Combat Medic Badge for providing medical services to his fellow soldiers while under fire. In Mosul, Iraq, he earned the Meritorious Achievement award for "saving the life of an Iraqi civilian with gunshot wounds". In Rahweh, Iraq, the Squadron Surgeon praised him for "humanistic qualities our medical profession so desperately needs". After discharge from active duty, he chose to serve his reserve duty with the Minnesota National Guard where he rose to the rank of Sergeant First Class. On deployment to Afghanistan, he earned the Army's fourth highest award, The Bronze Star for "exceptionally meritorious achievement". All of these awards came at a cost, a high level veteran's disability rating, an affliction of Post Traumatic Stress that plagued him to the end, and a problem of substance abuse. In August, he voluntarily entered a VA treatment and rehabilitation program in St. Cloud. But he was expelled a week later for confrontations with a fellow patient. Had the VA not expelled him, he would still be alive today. Tom is survived by parents, John and Sandy Harrigan, his siblings Kevin, Patrick and Timothy and their families, and a network of aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces. Our family has suffered a tremendous blow. The Fire Fighters lost a dedicated brother, and our community lost a valued human being. We deeply appreciate the out pouring of support we have seen from his fellow fire fighters, fellow soldiers who served with in war, relatives and friends. Tom was born July 7, 1983 and died September 2, 2019. May God grant to him the peace that's eluded him. Funeral Service Thursday September 12th, 11:30 AM, at the Fort Snelling Chapel, 1 Tower Ave., Minneapolis. Visitation Wednesday 5-8 pm at the O'Halloran & Murphy Chapel, 575 S. Snelling Ave. and one hour prior at the Fort Snelling Chapel. Please no flowers. The best you can do for Tom or us is to be kind to another Vet, and send a contribution to the or similar organization of your choice. O'Halloran & Murphy, 651-698-0796
Published in Pioneer Press on Sept. 8, 2019
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