Let the memory of Tyler be with us forever
  • 22 years old
  • Born on May 2, 1986 .
  • Passed away on April 30, 2009 .

Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler Trahan, 22, a Freetown native, was killed early Thursday from a roadside bomb in Iraq, according to his father Jean-Pierre Trahan of Freetown.

Additional details of the attack were not readily available because the Navy has not officially released information on the incident.

Trahan, a 2004 graduate of Old Colony Regional Vocational-Technical High School, was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician with a Navy SEAL team that had deployed to Iraq earlier this year.

He enlisted in the Navy in 2006 after attending the Massachusetts Maritime Academy for one year.

“The kid did what he wanted to do,” said Jean-Pierre Trahan, who is traveling today to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to accept his son’s body.

“He wanted to serve his country.”

Tyler Trahan was inducted into the National Honor Society in 2002, graduated near the top of his high school class and was a quarterback on the football team.

“This is a tremendous loss to the Old Colony Family,” said Matthew Trahan (no relation), the Old Colony athletic director who coached Tyler on the football team.

“He was an outstanding student-athlete. He gave 100 percent in everything he was doing. He was loved by his friends, family, teachers, everybody at Old Colony. Our hearts go out to his parents and family.”

Old Colony librarian Christine Watling, also the school’s National Honor Society adviser, remembered Tyler as a mature student who embodied the honor society’s virtues of scholarship, service, leadership and character. 

“He was just a wonderful human being, intelligent, compassionate and committed to his ideals,” said Watling, who recalled a 2004 National Honor Society conference in Orlando that Tyler opted not to attend at the last minute because he felt he had to be with his football team.

“That showed character and commitment,” Watling said.

Tyler graduated from Navy boot camp in July 2006, having finished near the top of his recruit training class for showing top-flight leadership skills. He marched in front of his class with the golden sword, awarded to the class leader. 

Upon his boot camp graduation, Tyler was given the rare offer for an enlisted man to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and become an officer. He declined in order to attend special operations training and become an explosive ordinance disposal technician.

His father said Tyler completed the U.S. Navy Dive School and successfully graduated from the U.S. Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga.

“We were very proud of his accomplishments since he left Old Colony and his dedication to his country,” said Matthew Trahan, who described the mood as being somber today in the school.

“He touched a lot of lives at Old Colony. He was a special kid. He was a great kid. You couldn’t ask for a better student-athlete.”

Tyler was the third generation of his family to serve in the military. His father served in the Army during the Vietnam era. His grandfather, John J. O’Malley Jr., served on a naval destroyer during World War II.

Tyler’s father said he was also was heavily influenced by his late great-uncle, Col. Donald Allain, a decorated World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veteran who fought in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.

“In talking to Tyler, the one thing he always wanted to do was go in the service and the Navy Seals,” Watling said. “He knew all throughout his high school years that is what he wanted.

“He set his eyes on the goal and achieved it.”

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