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Fellow Marine Remembers Mahwah Hero In Brownie Troop Talk

Mahwah Mayor Bill Laforet, fifth from right, and Marine Corps veteran Matthew Rehman with the Lenape Meadow school's third grade Brownie Troop. Photo Credit: William Laforet
Marine Corps Veteran Matthew Rehman, back left, brought his family to meet Mayor William Laforet, far right, and the McGill Family on Veteran's Day in Mahwah. Photo Credit: William Laforet

MAHWAH, N.J. — The niece of late Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Timothy McGill got a special Veterans Day surprise when a New York City police officer who served with him spoke to her third-grade Brownie troop at the Lenape Meadows School.

Matthew Rehman "was holding back tears — as were probably every adult in the room because it was still just so raw,” said one of the Brownie Troop leaders, Ana Maria Meizys.

McGill — whose niece, Savannah, is with the troop -- died in 2013 while fighting in Afghanistan.

“It’s only been two years since he’s been gone and we all just had to hold it together for the kids,” Meizys said. “You don’t want to break down and cry in front of [them].”

Rehman was driving a deployment vehicle at the NYPD training facility in Manhattan when he discovered that a group of students watching him were on a field trip with the Mahwah Municipal Alliance Youth Leadership Academy.

One think led to another.

Rehman, during his talk, "showed the girls that [McGill] was a real person — not an abstract thing they hear about in the news,” Meizys said. “It was very real because they could see how this touched their friend… and it’s something that they are probably going to remember for the rest of their lives.”

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