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Apparent heart attack kills Mainer serving in Afghanistan

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Another Maine soldier has died in the war on terrorism, Governor John Baldacci announced yesterday.

Maine Army National Guard Captain Patrick Damon, 41, died yesterday in Bagram, Afghanistan, apparently from a heart attack, said Baldacci, who knew Damon personally.

His death was not related to hostile fire, the governor said.

Damon, who was from Falmouth and had two young children, had taken leave from his job with the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

He was serving in the Maine Guard's 240th Engineer Group, which shipped out in January.

The governor called Damon's wife after hearing of his death.

``I told his family this morning there weren't enough nice words to capture the essence of Pat Damon," the governor said. ``Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the family at this very difficult time."

Damon served as the Public Utilities Commission's administrative director, responsible for coordinating the agency's four divisions: legal, technical analysis, finance, and consumer assistance.

The administrative director is also in charge of certification of all of the commission's official acts, as well as overseeing personnel, budget, physical plant, contracts, caseload management, and computer services.

``He was the glue that holds everything together and makes everything work," said Phil Lindley, the agency's spokesman.

Damon had also served in other state posts.

``Pat was someone I valued personally and professionally. Everyone who came into contact with Pat knew him to be extremely talented," Baldacci said. ``He dedicated his life to serving the people of Maine."

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