Born in Coon Rapids, Died in Helmand Province

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

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Shawn Muhr’s father Dave Muhr and his sister, Erika Muhr-Burris

COON RAPIDS, Iowa – Dave Muhr took over the squat, yellow-brick auto repair shop on the eastern edge of this Carroll County village in 1982.

His youngest son, Shawn, was born two years later. Once the boy could walk, it seemed he’d set out to take over his dad’s business by fixing whatever he could – whether it was broken or not.

Spc. Shawn Muhr was killed by an IED in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on January 29, 2011. He was married to Winifred Olchawa, and had a stepchild, Diven.

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Shawn Muhr’s mother Shirley Land at his funeral

Residents say talk of last week’s attack – which also killed Spc. Joshua Campbell of Bennett, Colo. – has dominated talk inside Frohlich’s Super-Valu, local pubs and the American Legion hall.

“It’s been a black cloud over our heads,” said Karen Colbert, a local retiree. “It really makes you realize there’s a war over there.”

A reporter for the Carroll, Iowa Daily Times Herald asked Shawn Muhr’s sister Erika Muhr-Burris why he enlisted. “There was really no motivation behind it besides who we are,” she said. “We are a military family. It’s who we are. That’s what we do.”

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Near the end of an interview in her father’s home, with family gathered, Muhr-Burris reflected on what her brother might say were he there himself, to speak for himself.

“He’d tell everyone to get out,” Muhr-Burris said. “He would never want the recognition of a hero. It is what it is.”

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