No one understands the sacrifice of the so-called “War on Terror” better than Rob Kugler and his family. December 9, 2007, Rob’s brother, Mike Doheny, was killed when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle in Iraq. For his family, the news of the death of Al Queda leader Osama Bin Laden brought a flood of emotion.
Doheny, a 1996 graduate of Broken Bow High School, was working as a security specialist for Tetra Tech EC of Morris Plains, N.J. as part of the Coalitions Munitions Clearance Program at the time of his death. The Alabama-based military operation was responsible for disposing of captured ammunitions in Iraq.
Prior to his employment with the private security company, Doheny had served eight years as a U.S. Marine. he was honorably discharged in February 2005. He became employed with Tetra Tech shortly after his discharge, and headed to Iraq in August 2007.
Rob idolized his older brother, and followed in his footsteps - joining the Marines after graduating from Broken Bow High School in 2000. Rob was serving in Iraq also at the time of his brother’s death, and accompanied him home for the burial - the last thing he would be able to do for his big brother.
“When I heard the news of Osama's death my immediate reaction was to go the computer to confirm it,” says Rob. “I was Barbecuing with friends down in Long Beach, Calif., and the gathering then took on the mood of a celebration. The talk amongst us friends turned to that of the pride we all have for our nation and our wonderful Armed Forces.”
Rob continues, “The loss of my brother, Mike Doheny, has been a common subject since. People have asked me if it helps give any closure, or solace. I would have to answer yes to that question. Even though Bin Laden was just one man, his being alive represented an elusive evil that seemed to be out of our grasp. “Thoughts of "Will we ever end this Terrorist's Legacy?" have slipped through my mind, and obviously we can not undo what he has done, but now we know that he himself can cause no more harm. In my opinion, the very fact that he was so ghostly and transparent for so many years is an extremely crucial element in his death - thus allowing him to become untouchable, a legend.
“Well, a team of Navy S.E.A.L.s showed the world that no one is "untouchable." This has hopefully sent a sign to all Terrorists, regardless of who they represent, that none of them are safe to freely attack the innocent without consequence.”
Doheny was scheduled to finish his tour in Iraq March 19, 2008, the anniversary of his wedding to wife, Melissa. He was proud to serve his country, and was a humble man. In the wake of Bin Laden’s death, his family - as well as thousands of families across the United States - are remembering the loved one, and finally feeling a sense that their death was not in vain.
“The day after the news, my mother, Kathy Kugler, called me and said: "Don't you think that Mike is looking down smiling right now?" I replied, "Oh I guarantee it!"