On April 12, Eastchester resident Doris Mann buried her husband of 58 years. Two days later, she stood beside her eldest son when he was pinned with his brigadier general star at Fort Myers in Virginia. “Friday was the nadir, and Sunday was the zenith,” said Mann as she reflected on her son’s military career from his ROTC days at SUNY Albany to his promotion from colonel to become one of just 80 brigadier generals in the Army Reserve.
Michael A. Mann, 53, was inspired by his father, Irwin Mann, who loved military history and was a veteran of World War II, said his sister, Audrey Mann Cronin of Chappaqua. Irwin Mann died on April 11 at home after a long illness. He was 84. “My father was so proud, so proud of my brother,” Cronin said.
Mann’s mother recalled her son’s service from 2009 to 2010 in Afghanistan, where he was sent to oversee the logistics of providing tents and equipment for the troop surge. “It was very hair raising, as you can imagine,” Mann said. “He used to call every night and you’d hear the jet planes, and you’d hear him say, ‘I have to get off Mom, they are lobbing missiles.’ ” Mann said she is comforted that her husband knew of their son’s promotion before he died. “In his speech, he thanked my husband and said it was because of him he went into the military,” she said.
Mann lives in Arlington, Va., with his wife, Connie, daughter and two sons. He has a second sister, Bev Cohen, in Chevy Chase, Md. Mann, a 1978 graduate of Eastchester High School, has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from SUNY Albany as well as a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.
Photo: Brig. Gen. Michael A. Mann, a native of Eastchester now living in Arlington, Va., is flanked by his wife, Connie Mann, left, and his mother, Doris Mann of Eastchester, right, on April 14 at Fort Myers in Virginia during his promotion ceremony to his new rank. Behind him is his commanding officer, Major Gen. Peter S. Lennon. Contributed photo by Audrey Mann Cronin.