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Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew C. Laskowski

Died February 25, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

32, of Phoenix, Ariz.; assigned to the 4th Squadron, Outlaw Troop, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo.; killed Feb. 25 when the OH-58 helicopter in which he was flying crashed in Habbinayah, Iraq.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew C. Laskowski felt good about the work he was doing in Iraq, but returning to the country after a two-week furlough was hard — it meant he had to leave his wife and two daughters behind.

At the airport, 5-year-old Isabel clung to his side. “She said, ‘My daddy, my daddy.’ He just broke down,” said Jennifer Laskowski, his wife. “He knew what he would be facing back in Iraq, and he didn’t want to be away from us.”

The 32-year-old from Phoenix died Feb. 25 when the helicopter he was flying crashed in the Euphrates River in Habbaniyah, Iraq. He was stationed at Fort Carson, Colo. Two of his letters arrived the day his wife learned of his death. She still listens to the messages he recorded into stuffed bears for their daughters — their other daughter, Aniela, is 1.

“He was and is my soul mate,” his wife said.

— Associated Press

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