Daughter at Notre Dame sworn in by father in Iraq

 Graduation from college and being commissioned a U.S. military officer is a special occasion for anyone and her family. A recent commissioning, however, was even more memorable than most. David Conboy, an engineer with Buffalo District, and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves, administered the oath of commissioning from Iraq and welcomed his stepdaughter, Sarah Elizabeth McMahon, into the Army as a second lieutenant.

McMahon, a graduating senior at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., attended the university on an Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship for the last four years. Conboy was also was commissioned an officer through the ROTC program at the University of Notre Dame.

Courtesy of an Army video teleconference connection, Conboy participated in the ceremony while deployed to Iraq where he is serving as a civilian overseeing reconstruction and rehabilitation of the oil infrastructure throughout southern Iraq.

During the ceremony, Conboy noted three important words that appear on the U.S. Army flag, and offered these thoughts to his stepdaughter, the new second lieutenant. "These words, 'This We'll Defend,' represent our unconditional call to selflessly and ethically defend our nation, our values, and our way of life.

Army Reserve Lt. Col. David Conboy
administers the oath of commissioning
via video teleconference to his daughter,
Sara McMahon, at Notre Dame
University. (Photo courtesy of Buffalo
A call that you have answered individually and, perhaps more important, a concept that through your example and leadership you will instill and foster in the Soldiers that the Army will entrust to your care."

McMahon thanked her family for their continuous support and encouragement and noted that she looks forward to the opportunity to serve her country as an Army engineer officer. After graduation from the University of Notre Dame, McMahon had a month of leave at home in Grand Island, N.Y. Then she was assigned to Fort Lewis, Wash., this summer to assist with ROTC training, and subsequent assignment to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., for engineer training, following in her stepfather's footsteps.

Conboy returned from his deployment in Iraq in early June, so the entire family was together before his stepdaughter departed for her assignment with the Army.