John M. Dawson was a dumb ass kid. The taxpayers spent well over $250,000 to educate him over the course of twelve years. The last four years of education were at a technical school because he could not handle a normal high school (so he went to a low school). At least, he recognized that smart phones were smarter than him Despite all that education, he still could not find a real job, so he joined the army thinking he was serving his country. He was wrong. He truly believed in Napoleon's statement that men will die for little ribbons. He was killed because he was an American terrorist in Afghanistan. He was a Christian jihadist. He had a perfectly useless life. From the time he was a fetus, he was nurtured by the Military Industrial Complex so that he could die to make money for the armements industry.

After he died, his body was flown back to the US so that his relatives could waste an enormous amount of public resources carting around his 180 pounds of dead monkey meat from an air force base somewhere to a stupid catholic church where untold hundreds of highly paid idiots congregated to mourn over the slab of meat and hoping it's imaginary soul goes into an imaginary place in the sky.

Then the slab of dead meat was carted around town, blocking untold thousands of commuters, creating delays and using police officers, fire fighters, etc, to a cemetery so it can occupy a valuable irreplaceable piece of real estate for about 500 years. All sorts of highly paid but useless dignitaries had to tolerate a 21 gun salute on behalf of the slab of meat, in drizzling rain. The slab of meat, now six feet under, will be eaten by worms and parasites within a year.

His parents will come visit the gravesite thinking it brings them closer to the slab of meat who used to be an American Christian jihadist and terrorist in Afghanistan..

Whitinsville soldier killed in Afghanistan laid to rest April 21, 2015
Susan Spencer Metrowest Daily News
Army Cpl. John M. Dawson was remembered Monday as dependable, dedicated and with a great sense of humor, having a mischievous side that included spraying silly string all over a friend's room, photo-bombing pictures and clowning around with the family dog.

Dawson, 22, was killed in action Wednesday, April 8, while on an escort mission in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. He was promoted to corporal posthumously.

He was laid to rest in Pine Grove Cemetery in Whitinsville with full military honors, including a 21-gun salute, the playing of "Taps" and presentation of two American flags to the Dawson family by Major General Stephen J. Townsend.

The burial followed a funeral Mass at St. Gabriel, The Archangel Roman Catholic Church in Upton.

Gov. Charlie Baker, his wife, and U.S. senators Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass. and U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, Army National Guard Major General L. Scott Rice and several other officials attended the Mass.

Baker ordered that the U.S. flag and the commonwealth flag be lowered to half-staff at all state buildings from sunrise until sunset on Monday in honor of Dawson.

Michael Dawson, Dawson's father, said in the eulogy: "Thank you for the best 22 years of our lives."

He described his son as respectful, kind, caring and fun-loving, a young man who liked flip-phones rather than smartphones and would walk the family dog around the house holding his hind legs up "like a wheelbarrow."

"John kept us on our toes a lot, laughing," the father said.

He also described a young man committed to service. His son chose to become a combat medic after two years in college, because, as he told his parents, he wanted to help people.

"He just did what he did, never wanting any praise or recognition for himself," Dawson said.

Townsend, who represented U.S. Secretary of the Army John McHugh, said that although he didn't personally know Dawson - or "Doc Dawson" as he was called by his fellow troops, he heard of his commitment to his teammates as well as his antics.

Townsend recalled that Dawson had a favorite quotation, which represented a maturity beyond his years: "It's the journey, not the destination that matters."

The Rev. Michael Broderick, who knew Dawson when he was pastor at St. Patrick's Parish in Whitinsville, described him as a man who lived the beatitudes.

"John's death drives home the necessity of peace," Broderick said, describing Cpl. Dawson as one of the peacemakers.

"Well done John, my good and faithful servant," the Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester said in the rite of commendation over the flag-draped casket, before the several hundred people in the church joined in to sing "America, the Beautiful" and "Amazing Grace" as they recessed.

Along the procession route from Carr Funeral Home, in Whitinsville, and the church, and on the return route from the church to Pine Grove Cemetery on Linwood Avenue, hundreds of people solemnly stood in the cold rain, holding flags and signs that said "Thank you for your service" and saluting as the procession went by.

Dawson is survived by his parents, Michael and Rhonda (Baxendale) Dawson, and a sister, Ashley Dawson, of Whitinsville, as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Contact reporter Susan Spencer at

Funeral tomorrow for Whitinsville soldier killed in Afghanistan April 19, 2015
Susan Spencer/Telegram & Gazette Staff Metrowest Daily News

NORTHBRIDGE - The funeral for a local soldier will be held Monday in Whitinsville. Army Spc. John M. Dawson, 22, was killed in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, last week. As many as 1,000 people are expected to attend the service.

Carr Funeral Home, 24 Hill St., Whitinsville, is handling the arrangements. Burial with full military honors will be at Pine Grove Cemetery on Linwood Avenue.

The funeral Mass will be held at St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish, 151 Mendon St., Upton. Anyone attending the funeral should go straight to the church.

St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Whitinsville is undergoing renovations and wasn't available for the funeral.

In addition to those attending inside the church, many veterans groups will be staged in formation outside, according to veteran William Audette.

Some 50 to 150 Patriot Guard Riders, veterans on motorcycles, are expected to pay their respects as well.

The funeral procession will depart from Carr Funeral Home and proceed from Hill Street to Church Street and Quaker Street in Northbridge, to Pleasant Street in Upton, passing Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, to Mendon Street to St. Gabriel's. It will return along the same route after the Mass, turning at Memorial Square in Whitinsville onto Linwood Avenue to Pine Grove Cemetery.

Hill Street will be closed between Memorial Square and High Street for the funeral procession. A portion of Cottage Street will also be closed.

The procession route will be closed from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., according to a press release from the Northbridge Police Department.

Off-site parking and shuttle buses to the funeral home are being arranged.

Fire Chief Gary Nestor said the ladder truck with a large American flag would be posted along the way.

Seventy traffic posts will be needed, according to Chief Warchol. Upton safety officials have been coordinating routes and coverage with Northbridge.

"It is our request that anyone who wants to go to the funeral go to the church that morning," said Heather Carr Reiter, funeral director.

Francisco A. Urena, secretary of the state Department of Veterans' Services, commended town officials for their leadership in coordinating the military funeral logistics and for supporting the Dawson family.

"The wishes of the family come first," Urena said. "It looks like those have been addressed."

"So far it's been a tremendous outpouring this week from the community," Audette said. "It's been very emotional for the veterans' community."

Charles Ampagoomian Jr., chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said questions from veterans or the community could be addressed to Town Manager Theodore D. Kozak or Annmarie Cleary, interim director of Veterans' Services. Cleary can be reached at (508) 234-9808.

"Remember, this is all new to us, every one of us," Ampagoomian said. "We don't ever want to go through any of this again."

Daily News Staff reporter Anamika Roy contributed to this report.

Editorial: Spc. Dawson's sacrifice April 10, 2015
Rick Holmes Metrowest Daily News
Thanks to the drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, it had been 116 days since the death of an American soldier in a combat zone - the longest such pause since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

That streak was broken Wednesday in an especially tragic fashion: Spc. John M. Dawson was shot by a member of the Afghan security forces who had been working with U.S. troops while escorting U.S. embassy personnel to a meeting with provincial leaders in Jalalabad.

Dawson, just 22, was a local man. He grew up in Whitinsville, where his parents still live. He was a graduate of Blackstone Valley Technical High School, who joined the Army "to serve and be useful," James Baxendale told the Herald.

"He was a great kid," Baxendale, his cousin and neighbor, said. "Anybody would be proud to have him as a son."

Whitinsville, Northbridge, Massachusetts and all America should be proud as well, that John Dawson and so many more have risked and lost so much in the service of their country. May he rest in peace.

April 10, 2015
J. Tvelia-Schilz Metrowest Daily News

Tvelia-Schilz: A boy, a man, lost to war

He was just a boy.

A young man came home today - a brave and true soul, shrouded in the flag he loved so well he would die for it. But he was just a boy. Sure, at 22 years he is called a man and is called upon to do manly things. But ask his mom... he was just a boy. He was old enough to decide to join other men in defending our country, to pick up a weapon, to walk into hell, but ask his dad... he was just a boy. He was old enough to leave home, leave his sister without his humor and support, but ask her and she'll say he was just a boy.

He was old enough to sign a home loan, get married and start a family, but ask the girl who waited for him. He was far too young to leave her. He will never do those things. He will instead live in the hearts of those who loved him and forever be a hero to the young ones, to his friends, to us all.

We are left with such emptiness when we lose an American to war - even those of us who didn't know the hero personally. We look at his picture and see our own son/daughter, grandson/daughter, brother/sister, father/mother, beloved or friend and cannot reconcile this loss. We feel the ache of those close to him, knowing it could as easily have been ourselves yielding to such horrendous vacancy in our hearts.

A sweet and wonderful future was cut short last week and the remains of that abated life are returned to his family. Many in uniform stood in the rain to honor him with their salutes and their broken hearts. It is the beginning of closure for his family as they prepare for the services and tributes. And it's all so damned sad. He was just a boy.



WHITINSVILLE - Army Corporal John M. Dawson, 22, was killed in action Wednesday, April 8, while on an escort mission in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. He is survived by his parents, Michael and Rhonda (Baxendale) Dawson, and a sister, Ashley Dawson, of Whitinsville. Also several aunts and uncles; Glenn and Cathy Dawson of Charlestown, Jean and Peter Williams of Eastham, Janet and Anthony Buscemi of Hudson, Thomas Dawson, James and Cathy Dawson, all of Maynard; and many cousins.

Corporal Dawson was born in Worcester, June 21, 1992. He was a 2010 graduate of Blackstone Valley Vocational Technical High School in Upton, and he attended the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Quinsigamond Community College, before enlisting in the Army in 2012. He took Basic Training at Fort Sill, OK, and attended Combat Medic School at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX, before being assigned to Unit HHT, 1st Squadron, 33rd Calvary Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team at Fort Campbell, Campbell, KY. He was deployed to Afghanistan in January.

Corporal Dawson's military awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with V Device, the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and numerous other awards.

While at Valley Tech, Corporal Dawson was an Honor Student in the electrical program, and worked at Coghlin Electrical Contractors in Worcester, as a Co-Op student. He was a member of the National Honor Society, Skills USA, and the varsity soccer team. He was a member of Saint Patrick's Church in Whitinsville where he was actively involved in Young Neighbors in Action. He was an avid bicyclist, and rode with the 10th Gear Christian Bicycle Group. As a youth, he played in the Northbridge Youth Soccer League.

Corporal Dawson's Funeral, with full military honors will be conducted Monday, April 20, with a Mass at 11 AM, in Saint Gabriel's Church, Upton, followed by burial in Pine Grove Cemetery, Whitinsville. Calling Hours will be held from 2-4 and 5-7 PM, Sunday, April 19, in the Carr Funeral Home, 24 Hill Street, Whitinsville.

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