Mourners gathered at the Coon Rapids-Bayard High School this afternoon to pay tribute to a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan last week. 

Twenty-six-year-old Shawn Muhr graduated from Coon Rapids-Bayard in 2003; he enlisted in the Army in 2005. Muhr had served in Iraq and was on his first tour of duty inAfghanistan.

Major General Rodney Anderson, deputy commander of Fort Bragg where Muhr was assigned, delivered the eulogy.

“Specialist Muhr laid down his life for his team, his friends, his unit and our nation,” Anderson said. “As his military family, we mourn his death and we know that there is little to do except celebrate the accomplishments of this great man.”

Muhr was killed last week when the vehicle he was driving was hit by a roadside bomb.  Muhr, whose nickname was Ox, was driving a truck that transports heavy machinery, including tanks, in a convoy when the bombing happened.  

“He volunteered to join the Army.  He volunteered to be a heavy truck drive in combat, a very dangerous mission. When the call came to fill the ranks of another unit, he volunteered and was one of the first to go,” Anderson said. “Our brother Ox understood the danger of being a heavy truck driver, but he was a team player.”

Muhr deployed to Afghanistan this fall.  General Anderson spoke to some of the soldiers in his unit after Muhr was killed. “Please allow me to share a few of their comments,” Anderson told the mourners.  “‘Larger than life, always uplifting to be around.’…’Exceptional soldier…We will roll on in his honor.’ ‘Big Ox was awesome…a strong man with a kind heart — one of our very best.'”

Muhr’s father served in the Army during the Vietnam War and his grandfathers both served in World War II.  His older brother was a member of the Iowa National Guard. Muhr was the recipient of the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

 Hear the full eulogy: 6:00 MP3